Diabetic people have to have their finger pricked a few times a day in order to check the levels of the blood sugar. This method is painful and distressing for most of the patients.
Researchers have come up with a non-intrusive way of monitoring the diabetes patients: a temporary tattoo that has a very thin sensor and can be applied on the patient’s skin to check the blood sugar level.
This new technique of helping the diabetic patients comes after Google announced that it has been working on developing special contact lenses which can be used to monitor the levels of glucose from a patient’s tear.
Amay Bandodkar, one of the scientists who invented the temporary tattoo that checks blood sugar level in diabetics, explained that these special tattoos can be applied on a person’s skin and will print a very thin design. This design contains small electrodes that monitor the blood sugar level of patients.
The tattoo does not involve any painful procedures and doesn’t last more than a day on a person’s skin. The special tattoo is as thick as a band aid and contains enzymes that are very sensitive to how the blood sugar levels change. The doctors can measure the concentration of blood sugar by applying a very mild electrical charge to the skin. This procedure is done so that the medical experts can extract fluids from the skin.
Bandodkar explained that the sensors attached to these tattoos can last on the skin approximately one day. The scientist added that these tattoos are very affordable, costing a few cents, and patients can replace them whenever they need to without any financial difficulties.
The newly invented temporary tattoo that checks blood sugar level in diabetics was already tested on seven patients – males, aged between 20 and 40, non diabetics- to check their blood sugar levels. The scientists monitored the patients before and after being a fed a meal rich in carbohydrates. The meal consisted of a sandwich and a soda. The levels of glucose using the tattoo were as accurate as if using a traditional blood sugar device, the finger-pricking one.
The new study was published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
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