Wireless Sensor the End to Finger Pricks for Diabetics?

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A new report in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, is leading to speculation that diabetics will soon not need to prick their finger for blood to test glucose levels.

A team of medical researchers have developed a wireless implantable device which reads oxygen amounts in tissue to measure glucose levels. The team, consisting of professionals from the University of California San Diego and nearby GlySens Inc., say they have been testing similar experimental medical devices in pigs for nearly thirty-one years. Currently, the glucose measurement device has worked in one pig for more than a year. Another pig went ten months without a device problem.

The implant is roughly 1.5 inches in diameter, with a thickness of 5/8s of an inch. Transmission of gathered data can be sent ten to twelve feet.

Diabetics require glucose measurements to determine the amount of insulin necessary to take. Incorrect amounts of insulin can lead to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, which can damage the body or lead to a coma. The diabetes research field has been working towards an artificial pancreas, which could regulate how a diabetic’s body handles blood sugar automatically.

The researchers hope to begin trials in human diabetics within a few months.

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