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Diabetes skin patch could abolish finger-prick tests


Diabetes skin patch

Finger-prick tests for blood glucose monitoring may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to scientists who have developed an adhesive skin patch that measures glucose levels every 10–15 minutes.

Created by researchers from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, the novel patch has proven to be a feasible noninvasive strategy for blood glucose monitoring in tests of both pig and human skin.

Study co-author Prof. Richard Guy, of the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.


It is estimated that around 30.3 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, and there are around 1.5 million new cases diagnosed every year.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90–95 percent of all cases; it arises when the body is no longer able to use insulin effectively, or it fails to produce enough of the hormone, causing blood glucose levels to become too high.

To manage the condition effectively, people with diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose levels regularly. This involves the use of a blood glucose meter, which tests a drop of blood released through a needle prick of the finger.

The frequency of blood glucose testing depends on the type of diabetes a person has and the type of medication they are using, but daily testing — which may be up to 10 times per day for people with type 1 diabetes — is common.

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