Revolutionary Blood Glucose Sensor

For many diabetics, regular monitoring of blood glucose is simply a part of staying healthy; and that means firing a sharp, spring-loaded pin into your finger to obtain a blood sample several times a day. It’s not incredibly painful, but it’s nobody’s idea of a pleasant experience and it’s to say the least an inconvenience. Non-invasive blood testing methods have been a goal of researchers for years; and a group in China now claims to have developed just such a system.

The multidisciplinary group, from Tsinghua University in Beijing, has developed a multilayered biosensor in the form of a thin film that can be simply stuck to the skin, and used in conjunction with electronics to provide an accurate measurement of blood glucose levels. The measurement process, described in Science Advances, has several stages.

The layers of the sensor film absorb the glucose and convert it into an electrical signal that can be read using standard laboratory equipment. The accuracy is similar to that achieved by finger-stick testing, and the same site can be used an unlimited number of times — although a fresh battery and sensor strip are needed for each test. The lead author of the study, PhD student Yihao Chen, said he is working on incorporating a voltage source and sensor into a closed-loop system with an insulin pump that would effectively form an artificial pancreas.

Non-invasive blood glucose sensor may reduce pain for diabetics [The Engineer]


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