For millions of people living with diabetes, a finger-prick blood test is a daily occurrence. However, new technology developed by engineers at the University of Leeds could change this.
The current method for measuring blood glucose levels is by a finger-prick test, where diabetes patients prick their finger and place a drop of blood onto test strips that are inserted into glucometers. This process could be greatly simplified by a new laser blood glucose monitor that has been developed by a team of engineers at the University of Leeds.
The device consists of a small silica glass containing ions that fluoresce in infrared light. When placed on the skin, the fluorescence signal given by the device differs depending on the users’ blood glucose concentration. The device takes less than half a minute to give a reading.
This non-invasive laser device is able to measure the amount of glucose in the blood, through the skin. Therefore, not only is this method pain-free, but it is also a simpler and cheaper alternative to conventional blood glucose testing. These benefits also allow for the device to deliver continuous readings, allowing better self-regulation of blood glucose levels by diabetes patients. The simplicity of the device is especially attractive for measuring blood glucose levels of children with type 1 diabetes.
While a pilot clinical trial conducted at Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine has demonstrated that the laser blood glucose monitor has similar efficacy to current finger-prick devices, further clinical studies are necessary to obtain regulatory clearance prior to mainstream marketing of the product.
Source: University of Leeds Press Release: Available from:
Last Accessed: July 17, 2015.
Image courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD