Australian scientists say they developed the “holy grail” of blood glucose testing for diabetics, a non-invasive strip that checks glucose levels through saliva.
For diabetics, checking their blood sugar level usually means pricking their fingers with a lancet several times a day and then putting a drop of blood on a test strip. Understandably, some diabetics avoid the painful process by minimizing their tests.However, this latest test works by embedding an enzyme that recognizes glucose in a transistor, which can then transmit the presence of glucose, according to Paul Dastoor, professor of physics at the University of Newcastle in Australia who led the team that led it has developed.
Because the electronic materials in the transistor are inks, the test can be done inexpensively by printing, Dastoor said.
“The holy grail of glucose testing was something that wasn’t invasive,” said Dastoor.
“[This test] really opens up the prospect of painless, inexpensive glucose testing and hopefully much better results for diabetic patients, ”he said.
The new test, Dastoor said, came about by chance while scientists were working on solar cells.
The project secured A $ 6.3 million ($ 4.7 million) in funding from the Australian government to establish a facility to manufacture the test kits should clinical trials be passed.According to Dastoor, the technology could also be carried over to COVID-19 tests, as well as allergen, hormone and cancer tests.
The university is already working with Harvard University on a test for COVID-19 using the same technology, but it’s the impact on other tests that got the physicist excited about the sensors’ potential.
“I think it will radically change the way we think about medical devices and sensors in particular because we can print them at a remarkably low cost,” said Dastoor.