Getting the finger pricked several times during the course of a day to check the level of blood sugar is undoubtedly just ONE if the several horrors a diabetic must go through. Researchers at the University of California have come up with a unique, temporary rub-on tattoo which will have an ultra thin sensor patched on to the patient’s skin and help them monitor their blood sugar level.
This innovative tattoo idea for diabetics comes after Google had announced developing contact lenses to monitor glucose level in the tears of the users. The tattoo sounds like a huge improvement upon the tech-giant’s idea.
Amay Bandodkar, the San Diego based brain behind this wonderful idea, says these temporary tattoos will print a thin tattoo containing electrodes on the patient’s skin. The painless method will give them tattoos which can least upto one day. The tattoo, which is almost as thick as a sticking tape, will apparently contain enzymes sensitive to changes in level of blood sugar. Concentration of blood sugar will be measured after applying mild electrical voltage to the skin to pull fluids from it.
“Presently the tattoo sensor can easily survive for a day,” Bandodkar said in a statement. “These are extremely inexpensive — a few cents — and hence can be replaced without much financial burden on the patient.”
The findings of the research which have been featured in the journal Analytical Chemistry mention that the tattoo has already been tested on seven patients (all male non-diabetics aged 20 to 40 years) to test their blood sugar level first before and then after taking a carb-rich meal consisting of a soda and a sandwich, and saw the indications of “glucose levels as accurately as a traditional finger-stick device”.
The product could be available in the market within a few years. The researchers hope to be able to use the tattoo for monitoring levels of other substances like alcohol, illegal drugs, medications, etc in the blood eventually.