In the light of recent doping scandals that have sent shockwaves through the world of sport – scientists in Switzerland believe they may have come up with a solution to prevent the use of banned substances.
The IronIC chip is just a few cubic millimetres in volume but includes seven sensors, a radio transmitter and a power delivery system.
The chip is a personal blood testing laboratory and implanted under the skin.
It’s designed to monitor naturally-occurring substances in the blood, and could, with a little tweeking, also detect illegal substances.
To no great surprise it has attracted interest from the anti-doping authorities.
Co-creator of the device, Sandro Carrara, said: ‘‘They (the Swiss Laboratory for Anti-Doping Analyses) forecast that in ten years from now to have all the sportsmen to be obliged to have (the device) under the skin, a kind of similar technology in order to have the possibility to follow in a continuous manner the metabolic baseline parameters of each sportsman.”
With athletics and cycling both suffering a series of high-profile drug-related scandals in recent years anti-doping authorities are eager to find solutions to stamp out illegal drug use once and for all.
The implant chip could be the answer, although further research is required as for now it only detects anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds.