Tattoo that Tracks Blood Glucose Level

Jun 02, 2010
People, who deal with type 1 diabetes, have to check their blood sugar level, using a blood glucose meter that requires pricking the skin with the lancet, which is not quite pleasant.

Now, the scientists at the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering came up with the new type of blood glucose monitoring system without the finger pricks. Dr. Paul Barone and Dr. Michael Strano developed a special tattoo that consists of nanoparticles, which is injected below the skin and monitors glucose level. Nanotattoo works as a glucose sensor, while the device that is worn over the tattoo shows the blood sugar measurements. Specially designed nanotubes sense glucose and fluoresce, which can be seen by near-infrared light on them.

The scientists work at creating an ink of the nanoparticles suspended in a saline solution. This ink would be used for injecting the tattoo that will work for about six months.

Researchers say that the nanotattoo would give more accurate and continuous readings, which is very important for diabetics.  Another benefit of the new system is that the nanoparticles won't be damaged by light exposure. Barone and Strano plan to start animal trials soon to find out how accurate the nanotatto is.

The innovative blood glucose monitor will help millions of people, suffering from diabetes control their blood glucose levels without any fuss.