UCSD researchers have developed an ultra-thin sensor that is placed on the skin like a temporary tattoo and can help patients control blood sugar levels in the blood.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 80,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes worldwide each year. The number of times a day they need to drill your fingers these small, it makes this chronic condition very difficult for them something and it is painful.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, developed a thin, flexible patch that resembles a temporary tattoo, which can continuously monitor glucose levels in the blood without puncture or irritate the skin.
How the measuring sensor
The sensor consists of a clear patch fixed with two small electrodes and an enzyme that reacts with glucose.
Researchers applied to the patch, in seven healthy patients a mild electrical current through the electrodes to drive glucose into the surface of the skin, where it is reacted with the enzyme on the patch.
Measuring the reaction allowed scientists to take very accurately measured blood glucose of these healthy volunteers.
Pricking several times a day is not nobody dish taste, so many patients tend to avoid needle sticks a day endangering their health. This new device has the solution is completely painless, Bandodkar, the head of research said.
Available in just a few years
The team is part of Wearable Sensors Center at UCSD, and is now working with other engineers to develop the other half of the device: a portable bracelet or other similar device that provides electrical power and glucose readings. This could be available in a couple of years and assume interest not only for type 1 diabetics.
Diets high in carbohydrates and related insulin peak is one of the main reasons for many of the diseases of modern lifestyle faced by humans, especially in developed countries like the US, he told Bandodkar CNBC.
To which he added: A glucose monitor noninvasive could attract a wide swath of the population suffering from type 2 diabetes, so it does not require insulin injections or other diet-related diseases.
Bandodkar think that information on glucose levels could be collected in databases and scientific help to understand trends broader health, and the necessary corrective measures to be taken to control the spread of diseases of modern lifestyle.
temporary tattoos for other diseases
A non-invasive glucose monitor may also be useful in treating conditions such as kidney disease, or highly recommended in athletes track their nutrition or physiological changes.
The researchers also observed in their study that this technology could pave the way for other sensors that monitor different chemicals in the human body, or it could even lead to new ways to take medication through the skin.
Currently the sensor tattoo can easily survive for a day and therefore can be replaced. They are very cheap, so do not have much financial burden for the patient, explains Amay Bandodkar.
Source: Journals Science and Analytical Chemistry