Scientists have developed the first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo and can detect a person's glucose levels. The sensor, reported in a proof-of-concept study in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, has the potential to eliminate finger-pricking for many people with diabetes.
Joseph Wang and colleagues in San Diego note that diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Many of these patients are instructed to monitor closely their blood glucose levels to manage the disease. But the standard way of checking glucose requires a prick to the finger to draw blood for testing. The pain associated with this technique can discourage people from keeping tabs on their glucose regularly. A glucose sensing wristband had been introduced to patients, but it caused skin irritation and was discontinued. Wang's team wanted to find a better approach.
The researchers made a wearable, non-irritating platform that can detect glucose in the fluid just under the skin based on integrating glucose extraction and electrochemical biosensing. Preliminary testing on seven healthy volunteers showed it was able to accurately determine glucose levels. The researchers conclude that the device could potentially be used for diabetes management and for other conditions such as kidney disease.
- Amay J. Bandodkar, Wenzhao Jia, Ceren Yardımcı, Xuan Wang, Julian Ramirez, Joseph Wang. Tattoo-Based Noninvasive Glucose Monitoring: A Proof-of-Concept Study. Analytical Chemistry, 2015; 87 (1): 394 DOI: 10.1021/ac504300n
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American Chemical Society. "Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150114101749.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, January 14). Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 14, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150114101749.htm
American Chemical Society. "Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150114101749.htm (accessed January 14, 2015).