A tooth-mounted sensor, a glucose monitor built into a smartphone case, plus 3 more new “gee whiz” devices that could transform diabetes care.
Diabetes Tech in the Pipeline. A miniaturized tooth sensor that can measure sugar, salt, and alcohol intake and a glucose monitor built into a smartphone case are just 2 in a wide range of new diabetes technologies in development. Our diabetes technology reviewer picked the 5 devices in this slide show based on their potential for improving diabetes care and enhancing patients’ quality of life.
Please note: The images used to illustrate this slideshow reflect the concepts and ideas behind the technology, not the actual technology or device being described. Links to additional information are provided in each caption.
Miniaturized Tooth Sensor. The miniaturized tooth sensor is a small square (2 mm on each side) that uses RF waves that are cancelled or absorbed by a sensor to transmit waves to a specific analyte for the measurement of sugar, salt, and alcohol intake. Research on the tooth sensor will be published in Advanced Materials in the near future.
For more information: Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat [press release]. TuftsNow; March 22, 2018.
Flexible Skin Sensor Monitors Sweat. The flexible skin sensor is the size of a postage stamp, does not require adhesive or a battery, and can stretch up to 53% without affecting performance. In a study published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the skin sensor exhibited a stable and fast pH response at a rate of 8 seconds in the pH range of 5-9 for sweat monitoring.
For more information: Dang W, Manjakkal L, Navaraj WT, et al. Stretchable wireless system for sweat pH monitoring. Biosens Bioelectron. 2018;107:192-202.
Glucoscanner. The Glucoscanner is a noninvasive glucometer that scans the finger using nonstandard light frequencies to evaluate tissue light absorption, so the patient does not have to do a finger prick. Studies conducted of proof-of-concept design, suggest similar results as over-the-counter glucometers and more clinical trials are being planned in over 10 countries.
For more information: www.glucoscanner.com
Microneedle Patch Delivers Fat-Burning Drugs. The microneedle skin patch delivers a drug that converts white fat into energy-burning brown fat at a lower dose than oral medication and minimizes side effects. When the skin patch is pressed, the microneedle is embedded into the skin where it detaches, degrades, and releases the drug. In a study published in Small Methods, diet-induced obese mice showed a 30% decrease in fat mass and a decrease in cholesterol and fatty acids over a 4 week period. The prototype costs about $3.50 to make.
For more information: Than A, Liang K, Xu S, et al. Transdermal delivery of antiâobesity compounds to subcutaneous adipose tissue with polymeric microneedle patches. Small Methods. 2017;1.
GlucPhone. The GlucPhone is a reusable glucose monitor that is built into any smartphone case to measure the electrical signal generated by blood glucose reacting with single-use pellets. The sensor then transmits the data to an Android app for storage and sharing. In a study published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the enzymes in the pellets were found to be stable for up to 8 months and generated reproducible results.
For more information: Bandodkar AJ, Imani S, NuÃ±ez-Flores R, et al. Re-usable electrochemical glucose sensors integrated into a smartphone platform. Biosens Bioelectron. 2018;101:181-187.