Bioengineers at the University of California-San Diego have developed a temporary tattoo that tests blood sugar in the fluid between skin cells — providing the first-ever wearable alternative to needle-stick glucose monitors used by people with diabetes.
The sensor was developed and tested by graduate student Amay Bandodkar and colleagues in Joseph Wang's laboratory at the NanoEngineering Department and the Center for Wearable Sensors at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD.
Bandodkar said the device could also be refined to detect other bodily compounds or even deliver medicines through the skin.
"The readout instrument will also eventually have Bluetooth capabilities to send this information directly to the patient's doctor in real-time or store data in the cloud," said Bandodkar.
He added that the monitors could be worn long term to “continuously monitor glucose levels of large populations as a function of their dietary habits."
People with diabetes often must test their glucose levels multiple times per day, using devices that use a tiny needle to extract a small blood sample from a fingertip. Many avoid this testing because they find it unpleasant or difficult to perform, putting themselves at a higher risk for poor health.
Tests of the new UCSD device involving seven people found it to be effective, according to a report in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.