Friday, February 20, 2015

A Wearable Glucometer


Today’s diabetics need to use traditional finger stick glucometer’s, tomorrows will just need a tattoo. A recent study from the department of Nanoengineering from the University of California have developed a wearable, reliable, and temporary glucose detecting tattoo. It is easy to apply, comparable to modern water based temporary tattoos and has a lifespan of about one day so far. They’re incredibly cheap and this study is simply paving the way for a more constant, long term model for the mass market.



It functions by first sending a small 0.2mA/cm2 current through the user’s skin. This current induces a reverse ionotophoresis reaction, drawing ions (specifically sodium) towards the electrodes.  This ion transfer also brings glucose molecules with it, allowing the device to then take a measurement of blood glucose levels. While the process is longer than other common glucose detection methods, the goal of the glucometer is to be comfortable, easy to use, and noninvasive. Some participants in the study mentioned no discomfort while others only felt a small tingling sensation at the sight of the tattoo. 



Even though this study does not represent a final product (more of just a "proof of concept" experiment), it is the first step towards creating and distributing this technology to the public. Further research is needed to increase the lifespan of each tattoo and still maintain its accuracy and sub $1 price point. The tattoo is also being designed to implement Bluetooth technology to send timely reports directly to a patient’s doctor and smartphone or for use in detecting changing levels in other common chemical markers and aiding in drug administration.


-Dan Staiculescu (Group C)

9 comments:

  1. I think this is an incredible use of technology! I'm sure it comes as a huge relief for those who have had to stick their fingers regularly to test their glucose level. I could also see this being particularly effective for children since it is pain-free, similar to a temporary tattoo, and almost makes them robot-like. It would likely be even safer to have that constant monitoring when a finger stick is impractical, like during an endurance-based athletic event.
    -Meghan Harrington

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With research going towards making it very flexible and water proof, it should be resistant to sweat, water and excessive movement from any intensive physical activity. It seems like a viable option for athletes and the planned Bluetooth integration means everyone will have one less thing to take with them everywhere.

      -Dan Staiculescu

      Delete
  2. Great post! I’ve never really thought about the applications of functional medical tattoos before. It certainly seems like a better alternative to pricking one’s finger!
    It should be interesting to see how this technology develops in the future, as it could certainly make coping with diabetes much easier for those affected by the disease.

    -Hilary Mello

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think that this is an amazing technological advance. The idea of being able to use a temporary tattoo for medical purposes is a really interesting concept. This will make it easier for many people to test themselves. I believe that these will become very popular once released to the general public. Overall though a really good post.

    -Madison Boone

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting post! I have a few friends as well as a grandmother with diabetes and understand how annoying and painful it is for them to prick themselves so often. This kind of monitoring technology is extremely promising in the medical field and can definitely help ease the lives of those with diabetes. Novel breakthroughs like these really get me excited about the futures of medicine and technology coming together.
    On a side note, when I view your post the title isn't like the others you might want to go back and edit that.

    -Posted by Ashley Condon

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cool concept! Are there any complications with other diseases that they know of? A lot of people with diabetes have other existing conditions that could potentially interfere with a device like this.

    -Carolyn McDonagh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far the experiment is just a "proof of concept." they were trying to just see if this kind of thing will work and if it's worth investing more time in. When larger companies take up this research, they will go through the appropriate clinical and technical trials to make sure it's safe and functioning.

      -Dan Staiculescu

      Delete
  6. Interesting post and good to know that alternative methods are being made for getting blood glucose levels. I have a father with diabetes and I don't like seeing him prick his finger. This would be a good method for them to check their levels without it hurting in the process.

    - Jazmin Granadeno

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now it's important to buy a wearable Glucometer because when you want to go lab and test then it's time consuming. Therefore best way to buy Wearable Glucometer and test glucose level at home..
    Glucometer made easy for diabetes paitent, because it's very easy to test Sugar with tiny machine. Read the sugar level at home as very easy and very fast. Now days, Technology made life easy. There are few brands of Glucometer is present in Market but you need to find out the Best Glucometer, which gives you accurate reading. Read the Online Reviews Regarding the Glucometer and Select One of the Good Glucometer with getting more information about your sugar levels.

    ReplyDelete