This Tattoo for Diabetics Might Mean the End of Finger Pricking

January 16, 2015 7:00 PM

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Diabetics engage in a painful ritual every day, often several times: pricking their fingers with a spring-loaded needle to test the glucose in their blood. But that ritual could soon be put to rest, and replaced by a small patch designed to extract and measure blood-sugar levels. Flexible, easy to apply, and inconspicuous, the next-generation wearable is a promising step toward noninvasive monitoring of diabetes, a disease that affects 29.1 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control [PDF].

The invention is the work of a team of nanoengineers at University of California, San Diego, who published their proof of concept in the journal Analytical Chemistry. About the thickness of a piece of tape, the device consists of a small sensor and patterned electrodes screen-printed on temporary ta...

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