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Pre-clinical research

Tattoo-based sensor could eliminate invasive glucose monitoring

A tattoo-based iontophoresis-sensor platform holds considerable promise for efficient diabetes management, say researchers

Source: Jacobs School of Engineering / UC San Diego

The tattoo applies a mild electrical current to the skin to measure blood glucose levels in response to food consumption

Glucose monitoring is a daily necessity for many people with diabetes and typically involves fingertip blood sampling, which can be inconvenient and painful. This could all change with the development of the world’s first tattoo-based non-invasive glucose sensor, which is outlined in Analytical Chemistry[1] (2015;87(1):394-398).

In a proof-of-concept in vitro study, the tattoo applied a mild electrical current to the skin to measure blood glucose levels in response to food consumption in healthy volunteers, with an accuracy comparable to that of a commercial glucose meter.

“The tattoo-based iontophoresis-sensor platform holds considerable promise for efficient diabetes management and can be extended toward non-invasive monitoring of other physiologically relevant analytes present in the interstitial fluid,” the researchers conclude.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067651

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