UK-developed non-invasive skin patch monitors blood glucose; a ‘slow-mo’ injection to regulate it

click to enlargeA team from the University of Bath has developed a graphene-based blood glucose sensor that if successfully commercialized could eliminate the diabetic finger-stick. The sensor patch measures the interstitial fluid located between cells within the body-hair follicles–each mini sensor measures an individual follicle, where glucose collects in tiny reservoirs. The sensor patch can monitor every 10-15 minutes for continuous measurement. At this developmental point, readings are not sent to a smartphone. The researchers are focusing on optimizing the number of sensors in the patch, demonstrating successful use over 24 hours, and clinical trials. The University of Bath study with researchers from their Centre for Graphene Science, Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, and the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, was published in Nature Nanotechnology in March. New Atlas

A possible combination? Treating Type 2 diabetes usually requires medication to regulate insulin. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) causes the pancreas to release insulin but has a short half-life. Researchers at Duke University have developed a way to bind GLP1 to a heat-sensitive elastin-like polypeptide which forms a gel-like depot that releases slowly into the body. In early tests with mice and monkeys, the ‘depot’ releases a constant rate of GLP1 for up to 14 days. The slower human metabolism means that this may be a feasible 14-30 day treatment–and translate to the controlled release of other medications. New Atlas

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