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Sweat patches efficiently monitor and maintain glucose levels
March 19, 2017, 1:29 pm
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A research group at the Seoul National University in South Korea has developed a convenient and accurate sweat-based glucose monitoring and maintenance device. The sweat-based system allows rapid glucose measurement and analysis using small sensor patches. The accurate glucose analysis from these sweat patches could in future allow for precisely controlled dosage of drugs to combat diabetes, said the researchers.

The conventional treatment protocol causes a huge stress to diabetics since it requires painful and repetitive blood-withdrawal and insulin shots. Patients become reluctant to take the periodic tests and treatments, aggravating the diabetes symptoms and suffer severe diabetic complications. The sweat-based monitoring offers a painless blood glucose monitoring method, enabling more convenient control of blood glucose levels.

The research group presented their easy-to-use and multistage module that uses electrochemically active, porous metal electrode sensors. The miniaturized sensor design allows for reliable sweat analysis even from a microscopic one-millionth liter of sweat.

The system can also be tailored to enable precise and timely drug delivery. Drugs for the feedback therapy are loaded on two temperature-responsive layers of micro-needles controlled by three multichannel heaters that can deliver the drug in up to six steps of drug dosages in response to the measured sweat glucose level.

“Although there is still room for improvement before applying our system into the clinical application, this approach can surely contribute to improving the quality of life of diabetic patients by managing their blood glucose more easily, as well as being adapted for treating other diseases," the research team said.

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