UC San Diego Nanoengineers Develop Temporary Tattoo Capable of Measuring Glucose Levels in the Blood

temporary-tattoo-sensorA team from University of California at San Diego has developed a temporary tattoo which could ultimately replace the use of traditional blood glucose monitors. With traditional monitors, diabetics may find themselves pricking their fingers up to eight times a day in order to get consistent measurements of blood glucose levels; a task many patients find uncomfortable or painful. However, with the new monitor developed by the UCSD team, diabetics may now be able to obtain their blood glucose reading without needles.

The new monitor uses temporary tattoo paper that has been fitted with electronic sensors. After each meal, the sensors send an electrical current through the skin for about ten minutes. During this time, the glucose in the blood–carried by sodium ions–is brought up to the skin’s surface where the device can measure the amount of glucose in the blood. In a study involving seven non-diabetic subjects, the new monitor offered results consistent with traditional blood glucose monitors.

The UCSD-designed glucose monitor can provide constant monitoring for up to 24 hours and would cost patients only a few cents per day. Moving forward, the research team is hoping to make a device which can be worn for longer periods of time and will display the blood glucose reading directly on the tattoo.

(Source: Popular Science)

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