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]