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

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis Rally Against Racism

PM Netanyahu says he will meet Damas Pakada, the Ethiopia-born Israeli soldier who was filmed being beaten by two policemen More

Ten Migrants Drown in Mediterranean, 4,800 Rescued

All of those rescued are being ferried to Italian ports, with some arriving on Italy's southernmost island, Lampedusa, and others taken to Sicily and Calabria More

HRW: Saudis Using US Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Human Rights Watch says photographs, video and other evidence have emerged indicating cluster munitions have been used in 'recent weeks' in airstrikes in Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen More

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.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs