Bio-flips are specialized microprocessors that can be implanted in the body and that are capable of configuring and calibrating themselves internally via biological feedback (e.g., a response to a set of biological conditions or parameters). Bio-flip type microprocessors can also be used in external biosensors through which bodily fluids or gases are passed.
The advantage of bio-flip technology is that such microprocessors allow accurate, real-time monitoring of specific physiological processes. For example, one class of bio-flip microprocessors are being designed to take small samples of fluids, analyze those samples, digitize the data, and report results to an external monitor. Bio-flip microprocessors that are capable of monitoring bodily process also offer the potential to allow fine control of these processes.
The United States Department of Defense currently funds research into bio-flip technology because of the potential uses in the monitoring of drug and hormone levels that are often critical in treatment of disease and injury. Such dynamic implants would, for example, allow more rapid and precise regulation of medication levels at the site of injured tissues. It is anticipated, however, that the widest potential usage of bio-flip technology will be in the development of new drugs and other pharmacogenetic applications. Bio-flip technology also holds the potential to improve genetic testing.
As of 2002, a wide variety of fixed-assay or passive chips are utilized in biosensor technology. Because these passive chips are not capable of reconfiguration or self-recalibration they are often rendered inaccurate when subjected to biological extremes. For example, passive microprocessors are often incapable of yielding accurate biosensor data because of either a deviation from the normally expected baseline function (e.g., the normal or baseline level of a particular gas in the blood) or in situations where there is an excess of a particular substance (e.g., a chemical present in far greater quantities than normally expected).
Microprocessors that can reconfigure and recalibrate will also enhance the accuracy of microarrays utilized for DNA analysis and of biosensors currently capable of performing chemical analysis via capillary electrophoresis or other microfluidic analysis (examination of small samples of fluids).
The task of analyzing massive amounts of data generated by DNA microarrays is often daunting. Bio-flip technologies along with specialized algorithms and specialized computer programs offer scientists hope of improved abilities to detect variation in genetic structure. Accordingly, improvement in bio-flip like microprocessors should improve genotype analysis and improve identification of more DNA biomarkers (e.g., single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)) that can be used in determining genetic relatedness, disease susceptibility risk, and the effectiveness (efficacy) of drug treatments.
Advances in bio-flip microprocessors depend on advances in both microprocessor design and microfabrication technology.
Bio-Engineered Tissue Constructs
Biological and Biomimetic Systems
Biological Input/Output Systems (BIOS)
Biological Warfare, Advanced Diagnostics
Biological Weapons, Genetic Identification
Bio-Optic Synthetic Systems (BOSS)
Chemical and Biological Detection Technologies
DNA Recognition Instruments
Pathogen Genomic Sequencing
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)