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Baylor Develops Portable Non-Invasive Glucose Monitor

16 April 2010

A portable device that can provide diabetics with a non-invasive alternative to reading their blood glucose levels has been developed by researchers at Baylor University, Texas, USA.

The device was developed over two years ago, but this is the first time the a sensing method has been developed to use a circuit board small enough to make the device portable.

To measure blood glucose levels in the body, the sensor uses electromagnetic waves, which are deemed safe because they do not ionise the body's molecules in the same that x-rays do.

Users must press part of their hand or finger against the sensor using the transference of energy from the sensor through the skin and back to the sensor to measure the glucose levels.

The microwave frequency range is wide enough to isolate the effect of sugar in the blood and minimise the characteristics of other areas such as body fat and bone, which could alter accurate readings.

The Baylor researchers compared samples of 31 people with levels measured by an over-the-counter commercial sensor and found that the Baylor's non-invasive sensor has the potential of achieving the same or even better accuracy than current commercial sensors.

Baylor's sensor can range from 60 to 185mg per deciliter and has good resolution and accuracy over the limited range.