Without needles: created “smart” patch for the analysis of glucose in the...

Without needles: created “smart” patch for the analysis of glucose in the blood


Scientists from the British University of Bath has developed an adhesive skin patch that measures glucose levels in the body without blood sampling. For the analysis of the gadget uses interstitial fluid that washes the cells in the area of hair follicles. Description of the development published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Researchers from the British University of Bath have created a special patch, which is applied for the non-invasive method of analysis of glucose in human body. Used for the analysis of interstitial fluid that bathes cells in the area of hair follicles. About his invention of scientists shared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Daily millions of people with diabetes mellitus, it is necessary several times to analyze the level of glucose in the blood, since it can strongly increase due to lack of insulin production. As a rule, the use of blood glucose meters, equipped with a very thin needle, which punctures the skin to extract blood. Since for some a blood test several times a day is inconvenient and painful, the researchers have been working on creating a non-invasive, but sufficiently accurate methods of determining glucose levels. So there was a “smart” patch.

The movement of tissue fluid to sensors

The new development is based on the phenomenon of electro-osmosis — movement of fluid through capillaries or pores in the imposition of an external electric field. The working area of the patch consists of four sensors. The patch attached to the skin, and due to the high density of hair at least one of its sensors with a high probability is over the hair follicle. The sensor using electro-osmosis captures tissue fluid in a small chamber with a hydrogel that allows the measurement of glucose in the body without calibration. The principle of detection of glucose is based on the fact that the hydrogel contains glucose oxidase that reacts with glucose and forms including hydrogen peroxide, which is detected by the sensor.

To verify the invention of British researchers used a band-aid on the pig skin, which has some characteristics similar to a human. Convinced of the effectiveness of the patch, scientists have begun clinical trials of the device on healthy people. The creators of the device report that the device can analyze the level of sugar every 10-15 minutes for six hours.

Future plans include the development of a patch that can send the results of the analysis on the smartphone. In addition, we plan to modify the patch so that it was enough for the day. Then begin a clinical study involving patients with diabetes. If all the testing stages are successful, the device will likely appear in stores.