Implantable beads may end finger-prick blood sugar testing

While there are several potentially serious health complications that may arise from type 1 diabetes, many diabetics report that one of the most frustrating aspects of their condition is the continual pricks on the fingers they must endure to test their blood sugar.

However, diabetics may be spared this inconvenience in the near future. The results of a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicate that it may be possible to inject internal monitoring devices that alert individuals to changes in their blood sugar.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo developed beads that can be injected just below the skin. They are coated in a fluorescent substance that glows bright when blood sugar goes up. Researchers reported positive results from trials on mice.

"We found that our fluorescent beads provide sufficient intensity to transdermally monitor glucose concentrations in vivo," the authors wrote in their report. "The fluorescence intensity successfully traced the blood glucose concentration fluctuation, indicating our method has potential uses in highly-sensitive and minimally invasive continuous blood glucose monitoring."

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