For individuals living with diabetes, the daily routine of managing glucose levels has long been synonymous with discomfort. Traditionally, methods such as finger pricks or adhesive microneedles have been utilized, often causing pain, itching, inflammation, and the risk of infection. However, a groundbreaking discovery by researchers at TMOS, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems, promises to revolutionize this aspect of diabetes care.

The team, based at RMIT University, has unveiled a novel approach to glucose monitoring that eliminates the need for invasive procedures. Their innovation lies in the development of a miniaturized optical sensor, measuring a mere 5mm in diameter, which has the potential to provide continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring.

In a groundbreaking study published in Advanced Sensor Research, the team unveiled their discovery of four distinct infrared peaks specific to glucose. This breakthrough allows for the selective and sensitive identification of glucose in both aqueous and biological environments. By leveraging this newfound understanding, the team has developed a compact sensor that operates within the 1600-1700nm waveband. Remarkably, this sensor is Bluetooth-enabled and powered by a coin battery, enabling continuous monitoring of glucose levels.

The device prototype incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including a surface-mounted device light emitting diode (SMD LED) and circuits made of thin-film copper coated polymide (Cu/PI). Its millimeter-scale and lightweight design surpasses traditional benchtop spectrophotometers in terms of portability and convenience. Moreover, its flexible patch-like structure hints at the possibility of future integration into wearable devices for seamless glucose monitoring.

The non-invasive nature of optical glucose sensors has the potential to improve patient compliance, reduce discomfort, and lower the risks of infections associated with invasive glucose monitoring.

The implications of this innovation extend beyond individual patient care. With RMIT University filing a patent application related to the optical glucose sensor technology, the door is open for collaborations and partnerships to propel this technology from the laboratory to real-world applications.

Article written by News Medical| Image by Unsplash



News Medical