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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid