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Controlling Insulin Production with a Smartwatch

Green LEDs on the back of a smartphone wristband.

ETH Zurich researchers have developed a gene switch that can be operated with the green LED light emitted by commercial smartwatches.


A commercial smartwatch's green light-emitting diode (LED) can trigger an implanted molecular switch to regulate insulin production, thanks to researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

The prototype switch connects to a gene network implanted in HEK 293 cells, which can produce insulin or other substances in response to green light, depending on the network's configuration.

The system uses standard smartwatch software, making the development of dedicated programs unnecessary.

ETH Zurich's Martin Fussenegger said, "It's the first time that an implant of this kind has been operated using commercially available, smart electronic devices."

From ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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