Detecting Glucose Using Light

Managing diabetes in the U.S is a growing problem since people with diabetes is reaching epidemic levels. In the U.S alone, the disease affects 29.1 million and is the seventh leading cause of death which demonstrates a clear need for noninvasive pain-free, and an accurate technique to use to monitor blood glucose levels.

Researchers at Texas A&M have been working on developing a method for detecting glucose by determining how the glucose absorbs a specific type of light. This could spell the end of the painful, invasive finger prick tests diabetics rely on to monitor their condition.

By using optical detection technology that sends a twisting directional type of light at a glucose-containing sample, researchers have been able to accurately detect glucose concentrations by measuring how glucose absorbs light at the molecular level.

Vladislav Yakovlev, Professor at Texas A&M’s Department of Biomedical Engineering reports, “Standard glucose-monitoring techniques are somewhat of a guessing game because they can’t achieve continuous monitoring of a patient’s blood glucose levels. Since patients are advised to self-administer these tests at least three times a day which can be painful, very often patients don’t always comply with this instruction.”

However, this technology is still in its infancy but one day, this technology might be implemented in devices such as smart watches and bracelets. This would provide patients with hassle-free continuous monitoring and provide alerts when their blood glucose levels slip to dangerous levels.

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