News / Health

    Researchers Develop Wireless Glucose Monitor for Diabetics

    GlySens Inc. has developed a glucose sensor that will be implanted under the skin to enable long term glucose monitoring in diabetics
    GlySens Inc. has developed a glucose sensor that will be implanted under the skin to enable long term glucose monitoring in diabetics
    Jessica Berman

    Bioengineers in the United States have developed an implantable wireless monitor for diabetics that can measure glucose levels continuously for up to a year before needing replacement.  The device, if approved by federal regulators, would give diabetics a more reliable and less painful alternative to current glucose monitoring devices.

    The glucose monitoring system is designed to be implanted just under the skin, where it automatically measures glucose or blood sugar levels and transmits the data to an external receiver.  The device, a small disc about 38 millimeters across and 16 millimeters thick, could be substituted for painful finger-stick devices and implanted needle-like sensors that monitor glucose levels continuously, but need to be replaced every three to seven days.

    Diabetics have difficulty maintaining healthy blood glucose levels because they cannot produce enough of the sugar-processing hormone insulin - a condition called Type 1 or juvenile diabetes - or because the insulin they do produce is unable to properly convert dietary glucose into energy - a condition known as Type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.

    Large studies have shown that strict blood sugar control, through continual glucose measurements and adjustment when blood sugar levels get too high or too low, reduces the risk of diabetic complications, including kidney, eye and heart disease.

    Bioengineer David Gough of the University of California, San Diego is lead author of the study describing the new monitoring system and its successful performance in animal tests.  

    Gough says the sensor would allow diabetics to keep a much closer eye on their blood sugar levels than conventional methods. "So they could adjust the insulin or exercise, diet or other therapy and better manage their diabetes.  So this device would be implanted subcutaneously for long periods of time, say a year or more," he said.

    This 3- to 4- cm sealed titanium button contains everything you need to monitor glucose concentrations inside the body and send the signal by wireless telemetry to a receiver
    This 3- to 4- cm sealed titanium button contains everything you need to monitor glucose concentrations inside the body and send the signal by wireless telemetry to a receiver

    The monitor is made up of two oxygen sensors. One contains an enzyme catalyst called glucose oxydase that triggers a chemical reaction in proportion to the amount of oxygen consumed by sugar in the interstitial fluid beneath the skin.

    The second sensor reads the amount of oxygen from the first sensor and compares it to a reference level, producing a blood glucose reading.

    Gough says the dual sensors could be implanted during a simple outpatient procedure, at the waist or lower abdomen, or just below the collar bone, where heart pacemakers are often located.

    The bioengineer says the readings would be sent wirelessly to a receiver outside the body. "You could have the receiver attached to your belt or it might ultimately be a cell phone or something like that," he said.

    The wireless glucose monitor would guard against one of the most dangerous aspects of diabetes - hypoglycemia, a condition in which blood sugar levels fall very low.  It is especially dangerous, Gough says, if the condition develops while a patient is asleep.

    "Those people are under an immediate concern because they can lose cognitive ability and have an accident or something.  So this device would warn when glucose was too low as well.  And both of those things - both the short term problems of diabetes and long term problems of diabetes - could, in principal, be ameliorated," he said.

    Gough says the glucose sensors could be used to send a cell phone wake-up call to parents of diabetic children if their child's glucose level dropped dangerously low during the night.

    Researchers say their goal is to create a closed-loop system in which the wireless monitor continuously measures blood glucose and an external insulin pump automatically adjusts the amount of insulin being administered.

    Gough says researchers hope to begin human clinical trials of the glucose monitor within the next few months and to gain federal regulatory approval soon after that.

    An article describing the wireless blood sugar monitor is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora