No More Needles? Microwave Circuit Measures Blood Sugar Without Needles
Our Guest Blogger, Mariella Moon, is a tech blogger by professional training and a biologist by education. She wanted to share the latest medical innovations with the readers of InventorSpot.com.
Here's her article:
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Being a diabetic could be extremely painful -- aside from having to inject insulin, you also have to constantly monitor your blood sugar level, which would entail having to prick your finger for three times a day at the very least. I can't forget the last time I pricked my finger a few years ago for a class in college -- it was extremely painful, more painful than injections, even. As such, many diabetics forego blood sugar monitoring using traditional glucometers altogether.
Physicians, however, deem it necessary to constantly monitor sugar levels so diabetics can judge whether they need to inject insulin. Scientists from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, recognized this need and decided to address it. Their answer -- the new spiral-shaped microwave circuit which eliminates the need to mimic Sleeping Beauty. This microwave circuit is designed to be noninvasive, which means it would need no blood or any kind of bodily fluids from you. You simply placed your thumb on the spiral circuit and that's it. The electromagnetic waves which the circuit emits would deviate from the normal as it passes through your thumb. This change corresponds to your glucose level, which allows the device to act as a blood sugar monitor.
The prototype microwave circuit blood sugar level monitor is currently undergoing further clinical trials. It might take a while before it becomes commercially available but Baylor's associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Randall Jean, predicts that among its first uses would be as a public screening device available in establishments such as drug stores. Jean's goal, however, is to create an affordable and accurate end product which people could carry around everywhere they go.