Sunday, October 2, 2011


Regular Glucose level monitoring in the blood is considered the best way to control the diet and prevent frequent burst in the level of sugar due to consumption of daily foods. There is a prosperous industry which is thriving on gadgets and instruments designed for glucose monitoring and fast paced developments are taking place making the glucose assay easier and more convenient. Currently enzyme strip based monitors are ruling the roost and many concerned diabetics use them regularly and frequently every day. Of course the HbAc1 assay based on HPLC is a more reliable indicator of the glucose load over a period of 2-3 months and this is considered the best option by diabetic experts. Still daily monitoring gives sufficient confidence to the patients besides enabling regular diet corrections to keep the sugar level within the desired level. Recent development of a glow stick system to easily monitor glucose based on color change may revolutionize the patient care in the coming years. Here is a take on this innovation.

"Maybe you still remember the tattoo which helps to monitor a diabetic's glucose level. A permanent solution. Now Japanese scientists from the University of Tokyo created a new way for diabetics to monitor their levels. Instead of putting needles in your body, either to measure your levels or to get the special tattoo, you can also get a special 1mm glowstick inserted underneath your skin. This glowstick will glow whenever your glucose levels will increase. This hydrogel fiber is considered more accurate and stable than its predecessors. It even does not require oxygen and will work for 140 days (in mice that is). Parties with a diabetic will never be the same".

Though the development is based on animal studies and clinical trials are yet to be completed, there is no doubt that it will become a thriving industry once commercialization takes place. Probably the cost involved in implanting this device under the skin will decide about its universal acceptance. Also uncertain is whether the device implanted will be watched by the patient regularly. A more effective device, if it can be developed, would be to set off an alarm if and when the glucose level over shoots the limits set. Of course scrupulous control of diet is the ultimate answer to manage diabetes and no monitoring device is needed if one has the will power and discipline in eating!


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