Home Health The multitasking medium constantly monitors glucose and alcohol levels

The multitasking medium constantly monitors glucose and alcohol levels


Wearing the device is not painful – microneedles barely penetrate the surface of the skin to sense biomolecules in the interstitial fluid, which is the fluid that surrounds the cells under the skin. The device can be carried on the shoulders and send wireless data to a custom smartphone app.

Researchers from the UC San Diego Bearing Sensor Center describe their device in an article published May 9 in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

It’s like a complete lab on the skin“,” Said Joseph Van, director of the center, a professor of nanoengineering at the California Coordinator in San Diego and a co-correspondent for the article.

It is able to continuously measure several biomarkers simultaneously, allowing users to monitor their health and well-being during daily activities».

Most commercial health monitors, such as continuous glucose monitors for patients with diabetes, measure only one signal. The problem with this, according to researchers, is that it leaves information that can help people with diabetes, such as managing the disease more effectively.

Monitoring alcohol levels is helpful because alcohol consumption can lower glucose levels. Knowing both levels can help people with diabetes prevent too low blood sugar after drinking.

Combining information about lactate that can be monitored during exercise as a biomarker of muscle fatigue is also helpful because physical activity affects the body’s ability to regulate glucose.

With our nasal device, people can see the interaction of jumps or drops in glucose with diet, exercise and alcohol consumption. It can also improve their quality of life“, – said Farshad Tehrani, a graduate student in nanoengineering at Wang’s laboratory and one of the first authors of the study.

Microneedles merged with electronics

The wearable device consists of a microneedle connected to the electronics housing. Various enzymes at the tips of microneedles react with glucose, alcohol, and lactate in the interstitial fluid.

These reactions generate small electric currents that are analyzed by electronic sensors and transmitted wirelessly to an application developed by the researchers. The results are displayed in real time on the smartphone.

The advantage of using microneedles is that they directly sample interstitial fluid, and studies have shown that the biochemical levels measured in this fluid correlate well with blood levels.

We start with a really good place with this technology in terms of clinical validity and relevance“said Patrick Mercier, professor of electrical engineering and computer technology at UC San Diego and co-correspondent of the article.” It lowers barriers to clinical translation. “

The disposable microneedle patch can be detached from the electronic case for easy replacement. The reusable electronic case contains a battery, electronic sensors, wireless transmitter and other electronic components. The device can be charged on any wireless charger used for phones and smart watches.

Combining all of these components together into one small wireless wearable device was one of the biggest challenges for the team. It also required clever design and technique to combine reusable electronics that must remain dry with a microneedle patch that is exposed to a biological fluid.

The beauty of this is that it is a fully integrated system that one can wear without being tied to desktop equipment“, – said Mercier, who is also co-director of the UC San Diego Bearing Center.


The device was tested on five volunteers who carried the device on their shoulders during exercise, meals and a glass of wine. The device was used to continuously monitor the glucose levels of volunteers simultaneously with alcohol or lactate levels.

The measurements of glucose, alcohol and lactate levels made by the device were very similar to the measurements made according to the commercial blood glucose monitor, breathalyzer and blood lactate measurements performed in the laboratory.

The next steps

Farshad Tehrani and his colleague from the first author Khajir Teimuryan, who is a former graduate student at Wang Lab, founded a startup company called AquilX to further develop commercialization technology.

The next steps include testing and improving how long the patch with microneedles can last before replacement. The company is also excited to be able to add additional sensors to the device to monitor patient drug levels and other health signals.

Source: Medindia

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