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Latest Diabetes Research: Laser device may end finger-prick test in diabetics

Written by Agencies |Published : August 22, 2014 5:27 PM IST

diabetes-products2In the study published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express, researchers used a specialised laser to measure blood sugar. This advanced method could allow diabetics to check their condition without pricking themselves to draw blood. The researchers from Princeton University measured blood sugar levels in diabetics using a specialised laser that passes rays through the skin cells without causing any harm. It is partially absorbed by sugar molecules present in the blood which helps in detecting the level of sugar in the blood.

For the experiment, the researchers used a device having quantum cascade laser to measure blood sugar level of three healthy people before and after they each ate 20 jellybeans, which raise blood sugar levels. The researchers also checked the measurements with a finger-prick test. They conducted the measurements repeatedly over several weeks.

The findings indicated that although laser readings produced larger average errors compared to standard blood sugar monitors, but they meet the clinical requirement for accuracy. 'Because the quantum cascade laser can be designed to emit light across a very wide wavelength range, its usability is not just for glucose detection, but could conceivably be used for other medical sensing and monitoring applications,' Gmachl said.

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This research is a hope to improve lives of those who suffer from diabetes and have to regularly monitor their sugar levels. 'We are working hard to turn engineering solutions into useful tools for people to use in their daily lives,' said Claire Gmachl, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and the project's senior researcher.

Sabbir Liakat, a graduate student in electrical engineering and the paper's lead author, said the team was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of the method. Glucose monitors are required to produce a blood-sugar reading within 20 per cent of the patient's actual level; even an early version of the system met that standard. The current version is 84 per cent accurate, Liakat said.

Source: PTI

Photo source: Getty images

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