engineersUniversity of California, San Diego, (University of California, San Diego), USA, has developed a prototype of a wearable device capable of continuously monitoring glucose, alcohol and lactic acid levels in the body, synchronously and in real time. The device is placed on the skin with a Velcro-like tape fitted with microscopic needles, or microneedles, each one-fifth the width of a human hair. Wearing the device is not painful: the fine needles barely penetrate the surface of the skin to reveal biomolecules in the interstitial fluid, the fluid that surrounds cells under the skin. The device can be worn in the upper arm and sends data wirelessly to a dedicated smartphone app. researchers fromUniversity of California San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors They described their device in an article published on May 9 The nature of biomedical engineering. “It’s like having Full lab on the skinThe center manager said Joseph Wang, professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego and corresponding co-author of the article. “It can continuously measure multiple vital signs simultaneously, allowing users to monitor their health as they go about their daily activities.” Most continuous health monitoring devices, such as continuous blood glucose monitors for patients with diabetes, only measure the signal. The problem, the researchers said, is that this approach prevents patients from managing their disease more effectively. Monitoring alcohol levels is helpful for people with diabetes, for example, because drinking alcohol can lower glucose levels. Information about lactic acid – which can be monitored during exercise as a biomarker of muscle fatigue – is in turn useful for diabetics because physical activity affects the body’s ability to regulate glucose. The researchers are currently working on developing their technology further to reach marketing soon.
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