There is possibly some good news on the horizon for the millions of people who suffer from type 1 diabetes. Rather than having to continually draw blood for testing blood glucose levels, patients may one day have the option of testing without pricking the skin at all.
Hard at work in the labs of MIT, researchers are developing a method of testing the blood with light. The concept was originally mapped out by Michael Feld, the late MIT physics professor and director of the Spectroscopy Laboratory. Incorporating a method known as Raman spectroscopy, the vibrations of the bonds between molecules show chemical compounds. For type 1 diabetes testing, a near-infrared light would be placed on the skin of the arm or finger and the glucose levels would be read.
Two graduate students, Ishan Barman and Chae-Ryon Kong, are currently developing a reasonably sized machine to potentially be used in patients’ homes or doctors’ offices.