Tags: glucose | sugar | saliva | test

A Saliva Test for Diabetes?

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 01:48 PM



Diabetics must measure their glucose levels by pricking their fingers to draw small amounts of blood for testing – often several times a day. But a new type of monitor that can detect glucose levels in saliva, tears and urine may be just around the corner, making painful needle sticks obsolete.
Researchers funded by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory who developed the biosensor said it might even be manufactured at low cost because it does not require many processing steps to produce.
"It's an inherently non-invasive way to estimate glucose content in the body," said Jonathan Claussen, a former Purdue University doctoral student and now a research scientist at the Naval lab who led the scientific team that developed the biosensor
"Because it can detect glucose in the saliva and tears, it's a platform that might eventually help to eliminate or reduce the frequency of using pinpricks for diabetes testing. We are proving its functionality."
Claussen and his colleagues detailed their findings and the science behind the new glucose monitor in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
Researchers noted blood-sugar monitors typically measure glucose in blood. But Claussen said, "What's unique is that we can sense in all four different human serums: the saliva, blood, tears and urine. And that hasn't been shown before."
In addition to diabetes testing, the technology might be used for sensing a variety of chemical compounds to test for other medical conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It could even be used to produce a lower-cost breathalyzer to track blood-alcohol levels, they said.
The research was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.

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A new type of monitor that can detect glucose levels in saliva may be just around the corner.
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