Sad Diabetics Rejoice: Tiny Chip Measures Blood Sugar Levels Through Your Tears

It's not the first technique for measuring blood sugar levels that avoids the finger prick blood sample route, but this tiny unobtrusive chip could be the least invasive yet. It's able to make incredibly accurate blood glucose readings from a diabetic's tears or sweat, and then wirelessly transmit the results for easy monitoring.

While this isn't the first biometric sensor, past efforts were deemed too bulky or inaccurate to be worth using. But this latest version, created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg, measures in at just two millimeters long. And it uses an electrochemical reaction facilitated by a special enzyme so it's incredibly accurate. The researchers have even managed to cram both a diagnostic system and a wireless transmitter into the tiny package. So the device could just report its readings to an app on a smartphone, minimising the medical gear a diabetic needs to carry.

Unfortunately there's no word on when the biosensor might be available to patients, or when it will even begin medical trials. But its creators have designed it so that it's both easy and cheap to mass produce, eventually making it easily accessible to anyone suffering from type-1 diabetes. [Fraunhofer]


Comments

    Sad diabetic here: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make this available!!!!! The blood tests are the most unpleasant thing about managing the disease -way worse than the injections. This would make my life so much better.

    Why only Type-1?

      Because type 1 is a bonafide auto immune disease which affects every aspect of your life and you have no control over whether you get it. Type 2 is a fat people who couldn't put down the fork disease. Better off focusing on people who deserve the help, ie type 1 sufferers

        Thank you for your well informed, carefully considered and educational answer.

    This is a serious question. How do you induce tears?

      Surprisingly easily if you've ever done any form of acting. You can literally switch them on and off

        So I assume these will eventually be sold with acting classes then?

      You actually make tears continuously. They are swept over your eyes when you blink. You just make more when you cry.

        How do you produce enough to trigger the biosensor?

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