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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Non-invasive glucose monitoring in diabetes management

Health Industry Hub | March 21, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Australian researchers have propelled diabetes management into a new era by introducing a novel approach to glucose monitoring.

For decades, individuals with diabetes have endured the discomfort of finger pricks or adhesive microneedles to manage their glucose levels, often contending with pain, itching, and the risk of infection. Now, a team led by RMIT University scientists has pioneered a solution that could potentially eliminate these challenges altogether.

“Our aim was to alleviate the burden on diabetes patients by creating a non-invasive method for glucose monitoring,” said Lead author and RMIT PhD scholar, Mingjie Yang. “We sought to harness the power of infrared technology to decipher glucose signals accurately, overcoming the longstanding obstacle of distinguishing glucose from water in the body.”

The team’s pioneering research unveils a compact optical sensor, a mere 5mm in diameter, designed to offer continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring. Unlike previous optical sensing techniques that necessitated bulky laboratory equipment, this innovative sensor promises a portable, user-friendly solution for routine glucose monitoring.

“Our breakthrough lies in identifying four distinct infrared peaks specific to glucose, enabling precise detection even amidst the complexities of biological fluids and tissues,” explained Yang. “This discovery lays the foundation for the development of wearable optical glucose sensors, ushering in a new era of pain-free diabetes management.”

The newly developed sensor operates within the 1600-1700nm waveband, leveraging Bluetooth connectivity and a coin battery for continuous glucose monitoring. Initial tests have demonstrated its efficacy in detecting glucose levels ranging from 50 to 400mg/dL in blood plasma, rivaling the performance of larger, laboratory-based sensors.

“The potential impact of this technology on patient care cannot be overstated,” remarked Transformative Meta-Optical Systems (TMOS) Chief Investigator, Madhu Bhaskaran. “By eliminating the discomfort and risks associated with traditional monitoring methods, we aim to enhance patient compliance and overall well-being.”

Indeed, the implications of this breakthrough extend far beyond the confines of the laboratory. With further research and development, the team envisions integrating the sensor into everyday devices such as smartwatches, offering seamless glucose monitoring for individuals living with diabetes.

“The road ahead involves collaboration with academic and industry partners to advance our research into clinical trials,” added Bhaskaran. “Together with the right support, we can pave the way for widespread adoption of this transformative technology.”

This innovation represents a cornerstone of TMOS’s Meta Health Sensors Flagship Program, dedicated to harnessing meta-optical sensors for medical technology applications. RMIT University has already taken steps to protect this pioneering technology, filing a patent application for the optical glucose sensor, ensuring its potential reaches individuals worldwide.

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