The sweat excreted by our skin contains small amounts of glucose that correlate with the concentration of glucose in the blood. Various technical challenges, such as small sample volume, temperature differences, and movement of the skin, have prevented sweat-based glucometry beyond the research lab. Scientists at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea hope that a new sensor they’ve developed is a big step toward overcoming many of the challenges of measuring glucose from sweat on the skin in real-life conditions.
Their device collects sweat into porous, electrochemically active electrodes and is able to use a sample down to 1 µl. There’s a multi-layer uptake mechanism that helps the sweat reach the sensors. Additional sensors for the pH, temperature, and humidity feed their data into a system that takes everything into account to provide a corrected glucose reading.
Making this a truly therapeutic system is the fact that it can release insulin or some other drugs, since the sensors are connected to a set of microneedles containing heat responsive nanoparticles. The nanoparticles contain the drugs to be delivered, and when the device chooses to do so, it can heat up the microneedles, thereby releasing the drug cargo.
Study in journal Science Advances: Wearable/disposable sweat-based glucose monitoring device with multistage transdermal drug delivery module…