Millions of diabetic patients must regularly monitor their blood glucose levels, so finding a less painful alternative to traditional finger-prick blood tests is a priority. Thus far, accurately measuring glucose in a non-invasive way has been challenging, with several recently-devised methods proving ineffective. Hoping to provide a solution, a team of scientists has designed a new tool to measure glucose through the skin. This system uses a paper battery (visible on the skin, as shown) and hyaluronic acid to set up an electrochemical current that draws glucose out of nearby blood vessels to the skin surface, where it can be measured. Composed of ultra-thin materials, the whole biosensor is flexible, and easily and harmlessly adheres to the skin. A clinical trial demonstrated a strong correlation between glucose measurements taken with standard blood tests and this new device, suggesting that it could be effective as an accurate and comfortable glucose sensor.
Written by Emmanuelle Briolat
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.