New paper-based glucose patch 'could aid monitoring of diabetes'

Engineering

Scientists have created a new self-powered paper-based patch to aid the monitoring of diabetes.

A team from Binghamton University in New York have developed a disposable patch that allows for non-invasive monitoring of glucose levels in human sweat by integrating a vertically-stacked glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell into a standard sticking plaster.

“A new paper-based sensor patch has been developed to help diabetics to effectively measure glucose levels during exercise.“

By collecting sweat into a reservoir, chemical energy can be converted to electrical energy, allowing glucose levels to be monitored during exercise without the need for external power and sophisticated readout instruments.

Sweat-based sensing is seen as an ideal means of tracking exercise-induced hypoglycaemia because it can be performed during or immediately after exercise, in a way that would not be possible by performing a blood analysis.

Conventional non-invasive sweat sensors, meanwhile, are undermined by the difficulty of collecting enough sweat for analysis, sample evaporation and the relatively long time required for sample collection.

The researchers said: "The sensing platform holds considerable promise for efficient diabetes management, and a fully integrated system with a simple readout can be realised toward continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring."

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