The investigators of Calgary University have announced the latest variant of their “Wearable Microsystem for Minimally Invasive, Pseudo-Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring,” a clock-like wearable that ”bites” you every some hours to take out blood and test the glucose levels.
The technique uses a shape memory alloy actuator that shrinks while heating and then get back into its initial shape. The IEEE Spectrum writes, “When equipped with a small needle, the SMA-based actuators produced much greater penetration force into the skin than the bioelectric actuators and allowed the team to significantly miniaturize the device,”.
“The idea is to have periodic, spontaneous and autonomous biting resulting in reliable blood testing, said researcher Martin Mintchev. “It’s a very significant step in demonstrating autonomous contact with the capillary.”
The technique can be helpful for diabetes control also for consistent genetic testing or all type of blood examination which requires to be performed on daily basis. From the paper :
“Different from widespread solutions that evaluate blood glucose levels from interstitial liquids or tears, our design draws out a complete blood specimen from the tiny pierced skin injury using a novel shape memory alloy (SMA)-based microactuator and instantly calculates the blood glucose level from the specimen. In vitro description driven that the SMA microactuator created entrance force of 225 gf, penetration depth of 3.55 mm, and absorbed around 5.56 mW·h for triggering. The microactuation structure was also calculated by drawing blood specimens from the wrist of four human volunteers. A total of 19 out of 23 actuations favorably entered capillary vessels under the wrist generating blood droplets on the surface of the skin. The unified potentiostat-based glucose sensing circuit of our e-Mosquito tool also demonstrated a good linear interaction (R2 = 0.9733) with analysis using approved blood glucose checking technology. These proof of idea analysis show the usefulness of the e-Mosquito for independent irregular blood glucose checking.”
The e-Mosquito isn’t fully prepared for prime time but it’s a interesting step ahead for people who have to test their blood sugar frequently. A fast prick by a cool watch might just be better than the recent prick way used by diabetics.