Non-invasive blood glucose measurement remains one of the most intriguing challenges for medical technology. While we’ve been promised prick-free glucometry by various companies and institutions, researchers at MIT are getting close to the elusive goal. They have developed a fiber-optic probe coupled Raman system that, when placed against the skin has been shown in an early study to be as good as finger prick tests at measuring glucose changes in healthy subjects.
The study on the technology, which takes the form of a wrist brace with a laser probe attached at the inner arm, was performed at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. It involved 20 individuals whose glucose levels were measured, using three different methods, before and after consuming a drink high in glucose. The three measures, including IV sampling (the gold standard), finger prick, and the new Raman spectroscopy system, were compared. The results showed that Raman spectroscopy was as good as finger pricking in its measures across all the subjects.
Raman spectroscopy is capable of measuring the concentrations of various molecules within the skin, but tuning the technology to be able to consistently and accurately measure glucose has proven difficult. Following this study, the researchers plan on further optimizing their device with the hope of leading to larger studies and eventual commercialization.
Study in journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry: Evaluation of accuracy dependence of Raman spectroscopic models on the ratio of calibration and validation points for non-invasive glucose sensing…