A team of researchers have developed a wearable patch for diabetics that can measure blood sugar with a small amount of sweat without drawing blood and administer drugs in stages according to the wearer’s levels.
The team led by Kim Dae-hyung, professor of chemistry and biotechnology of the Nanoparticle Research Group under the management of director Hyun Taek-hwan, professor of chemistry of Seoul National University (SNU) at SNU’s Institute of Basic Science and Research (IBS) announced that the integrated system can measure blood sugar more accurately with less sweat than current diabetic patches.
The researchers created a smaller and more sensitive sugar sensor with gold with tiny pores to allow for more accurate measurement of blood sugar with less sweat. The team considered that it would be bothersome for wearers to sweat to produce measurements. They accounted for this by having the sensor only require a small of amount of sweat.
The team state that the sugar sensor can measure blood sugar with around 1 microlitre (UL) of sweat, a volume which is less than a drop of water.
The researchers also developed a strip-type sensor that allows the user to easily measure a single dose with the patch type sensor attached to the skin.
They explain that a skin-tied glucose sensor can measure blood glucose levels and the strip-type glucose sensor can be used as a disposable product.
The researchers then developed a drug delivery patch that can deliver the appropriate amount of drug in stages according to the measured blood glucose levels based on two types of phase change nanoparticles. This drug delivery patch can regulate the amount of drug delivered according to blood glucose levels in six steps.
The researchers applied blood glucose measurement patches and drug delivery patches to experimental rats with type 2 diabetes and succeeded in measuring blood glucose levels by administering drugs.
Researcher Kim Dae-hyung said: "We have improved current diabetes patches so that patients can use diabetes patches more easily and make them commercially viable. These diverse technologies applied to the sugar sensor and treatment can be widely used for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease models besides diabetes treatment.”