Washington, Feb 24 : The daily routine of diabetics to prick the finger to check blood-sugar levels might soon be passe, for a Baylor University researcher has developed an electromagnetic sensor that could provide them a non-invasive alternative to read their blood glucose levels.
Besides this, a study conducted by Dr. Randall Jean, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and colleagues at Baylor shows that the sensor works and is effective. "We are definitely excited. This is a relatively new area the market is exploring and we've demonstrated that using microwave energy can work," Dr. Randall Jean said.
The sensor works using electromagnetic waves to measure blood glucose levels in the body. As the energy goes from the sensor through the skin and back to the sensor, the glucose level is measured through the transference of energy.
Jean said that the microwave frequency range is wide enough to isolate the effect of sugar in the blood and reduce the characteristics of other things like body fat and bone, which could alter accurate readings. Jean further said that using electromagnetic waves is relatively safe because they do not ionise the body's molecules like x-rays can do.
Users must press their thumb against the sensor to measure glucose levels.
For the study, Baylor researchers took samples of nearly 20 people and compared those samples to levels measured by an over-the-counter commercial sensor.
They found that the non-invasive sensor has the potential of achieving the same or even better accuracy than current commercial sensors, many of which prick the finger to sample blood.
"The sensor passed its first simple quantitative test. It can provide useful information to help the user decide what course of action they should take," Jean said.