At the University of California Wearable Devicesdeveloped a sensor that can continuously and in real time monitor the level of glucose, alcohol and lactate in the human body in a non-invasive way.
The device is attached to the skin withmicroscopic needles, each of which is only 20% of the thickness of a human hair. Microneedles detect biomolecules in the interstitial fluid in the surface layers of the skin, after which the data is transmitted wirelessly to a user application on a smartphone. In addition to glucose monitoring, which is necessary for patients with diabetes, it can also measure alcohol levels - an increase in alcohol affects blood glucose levels - and monitoring lactate levels will indicate muscle fatigue (physical activity also affects this indicator).
"It's like a whole laboratory located onskin. The device is capable of continuously measuring multiple biomarkers simultaneously, allowing users to monitor their health and well-being during daily activities,” said Center Director Joseph Wang, a professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego.
Next steps in device commercializationinclude testing and improving how long a microneedle patch can last before replacement. The company is also encouraged by the possibility of adding additional sensors to monitor patient drug levels and other body parameters.