Scientists have developed a promising new device which allows for monitoring glucose levels and administers medications in a non-invasive way. This new device may address the problem of non-compliance among diabetic patients and reduce further complications due to non-adherence to treatment regimens.
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by either a deficiency of insulin or an increased resistance to it. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels and providing anti-diabetic medications are essential in the management of both types of diabetes mellitus. However, the stress and pain caused by repeated blood collection and insulin administration often lead to patient non-compliance. This non-compliance may eventually cause an increase in the incidence of diabetes complications.
Efforts have been continuously made to develop non-invasive ways to measure blood glucose and administer insulin in order to improve compliance among diabetic patients. Although measuring glucose levels in sweat provides a promising solution, there are still many challenges to this method. Some of the challenges include the following: 1) difficulty gathering enough sample of sweat to determine glucose levels, and 2) different factors such as the amount of lactic acid in sweat, temperature changes, and other medications can interfere with the ability of the device to provide accurate results.
In 2017, scientists developed a new device which measures glucose levels through sweat analysis and administers corresponding medications (metformin or chlorpropamide) via transdermal route. This novel device is designed as a ultrathin and stretchable patch to provide maximal comfort. To address the challenges encountered with glucose determination, this device is equipped with a porous gold nanostructure which helps determine minimal glucose levels in sweat with high sensitivity. In addition, it has multiple waterproof sweat control and uptake layers, as well as glucose sensing devices for efficient sweat collection and accurate monitoring of glucose levels. An appropriate amount of medication (metformin or chlorpropamide) will then be delivered via transdermal route through the use of microneedles.
This newly developed device is a promising method for determining glucose levels and administering diabetic medications. It has potential to be the future method of choice among diabetic patients due to the ease and comfort that it offers. However, further studies should be done to assess the correlation of glucose levels in sweat and blood before this device can be applied clinically.
Written By: Karla Sevilla