Device Monitors Blood Glucose, Delivers Metformin Through Skin

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Experimental technology senses blood glucose and delivers medicine with microneedles
Experimental technology senses blood glucose and delivers medicine with microneedles

(HealthDay News) — An experimental device uses a patch to monitor blood glucose levels via sweat, and delivers metformin through the skin with microneedles, according to findings published online March 21 in Nature Nanotechnology.

Dae-Hyeong Kim, Ph.D., from the Seoul National University in South Korea, and colleagues used graphene to develop a thin, flexible patch that contains a variety of sensors that detect humidity, sweat glucose levels, pH, and temperature. In addition, the patch contains heat-sensitive microneedles.

The researchers tested the glucose-sensing ability of the patch in two humans and found the device was able to accurately measure blood glucose levels. The team used microneedles to deliver metformin to mice. Over six hours, the drug -- delivered through the skin -- was able to lower glucose levels from 400 to 120 mg/dL.

The researchers said their next step is to improve the long-term stability and accuracy of the blood glucose sensor.

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