Embedded sliver-size glucose sensor nears

Oct. 19, 2004 at 1:55 PM
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CLEVELAND, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Diabetics may no longer need to puncture their skin to check blood glucose levels based on development of a sliver-sized embedded monitor that changes color.

The tiny device is in lab and animal testing at Case Western Reserve University where Miklos Gratzl, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and researcher, developed it.

The minimally invasive, microscopic monitor can be placed just under the skin and seen with the naked eye for very accurate, continuous examination of glucose level for diabetics. It can operate for several days at a time.

Colors in the tiny sensor, which is smaller than the tip of a pencil, gradually change from orange, meaning low glucose levels, to green and then to dark blue as levels increase. A deep, darker blue signifies the highest glucose level that can occur in diabetics.

It can be monitored by eyesight, or by electronic telemetry using a watch-like device worn by the person for data processing. Sensing itself does not require a battery, nor the collection of blood samples, and needs very little energy if a watch-like signal processor is used.

Gratzl hopes to begin human testing within six months.

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