Over 80 million Americans and 300 million individuals worldwide are estimated to have diabetes or prediabetes. Already an epidemic, this number is expected to double by 2030 according to the CDC, Many of diabetes’ serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, and vision loss, can be prevented with early detection and proper glucose control. However, blood glucose monitoring by conventional glucometers is an uncomfortable procedure for patients. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics may need to measure their blood glucose levels many times a day using lancets to finger prick and draw blood. The pain caused by this procedure has been linked to noncompliance with blood sugar measurement. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to find new pain-free techniques for the measurement of blood glucose levels.
With this in mind, scientists at the Center of Excellence in Electrochemistry (CEE) at University of Tehran, and researchers of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in a joint project, have successfully constructed and tested a prototype of a device for measuring glucose levels in saliva.
We have previously covered different versions of glucometers based on saliva and tears. Previous studies have shown that saliva glucose levels are proportional to blood glucose, thus offering a unique and pain-free method of diagnosis. However, saliva has a level of glucose lower than blood levels (about 100-2000 times lower), making use of salivary diagnostics challenging. Conventional glucometers cannot detect such small concentrations, and thus a more sensitive device is required for such measurements.
According to the press release:
The idea of invention of a device for non-invasive glucose measurement was conceived approximately 3 years ago. In March 2010, the first version of the device was launched and tested successfully. Shortly afterwards, the second, and then, the third versions of the device were developed. Detection limit of the invented device is 0.007 mg/dl with a wide and applicable linear range of glucose concentration.
Today, a prototype of the final version of the device is launched and it is in the final testing stage. It is forecast that by the end of April 2013, the commercial version will be developed.
In addition to its being painless, the new method is less costly and can also be used for screening diabetic patients in large cohorts.
We look forward to the commercial release of the device and to seeing how such novel diagnostics can be applied in the international setting.
Press release: Invention of a device for testing glucose levels in saliva