There will be no more needle pricks on fingers for diabetic patients, if researchers succeed with their blood glucose monitoring device. Professor Sylvia Daunert with her team from University of Miami, Florida is making a good progress in designing a device that remains under the skin and continuously monitors the glucose levels quickly sending the signals to a hand phone. With this device the patients can be monitored continuously with no pricks unlike the traditional spot check of the blood samples.
This device consists of a biosensor implanted under the skin and a portable meter to read the glucose levels. The biosensor is made up of a modified fluorescent protein that can tightly bind to glucose and emits a signal only up on binding to glucose. Increasing levels of blood glucose leads to enhanced binding between the glucose and fluorescent protein resulting in intense signals representing the blood glucose levels read by the portable meter and transmitted to the hand phone.
Professor Daunert envisions the development of implantable catheters connected to insulin pumps that could automatically adjust the insulin levels in the blood coordinating with the signals received from the biosensors. This would particularly be helpful for the diabetes patients who are critically ill or undergoing surgery. However the methods are still not in line for the incorporation in to a commercial device and needs to be tested in animal models and humans which will take some more time.
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