Suffer No More

Millions of diabetes sufferers face the daily grind of frequent and painful skin prick tests to monitor their blood sugar levels.

Now researchers have developed an innovative alternative that could reveal the same information in the blink of an eye.

A team from The University of Akron have developed a contact lens that senses glucose which is the blood sugar in tears, the natural fluid that bathes the eye.

If sugar is not being metabolized properly and glucose concentration builds up in the body, the contact lens will detect a problem and change color.

“It works just like pH paper in your high school chemistry lab”, said Dr Jun Hu.

“The sugar molecule literally acts like the proton in a pH test, displacing a color dye embedded in the lens, and the lens changes color.”

Usually when you dissolve sugars in water you can’t see them. Dr Hu has used a molecule, called a probe, that binds well to sugars that they then combined with a dye. When sugar concentrations rise the sugar binds to the probe and knocks the dye loose, causing a color change.

The person wearing the lens wouldn’t notice the change unless they looked in the mirror, so the team are now designing an app that will calculate sugar levels from a camera phone snap of the eye.

Dr Hu said, “This device could be used to detect subtle changes in blood sugar levels for tight management of diabetes. It can also be used to identify patients with pre-diabetic conditions, allowing early diagnosis that is crucial for preventing diabetes from advancing.”

“The convenience of contact lenses could boost patient compliance to blood sugar testing, as it will reduce discomfort, inconvenience, and even cost.”

“In addition, blood sugar also changes rapidly throughout a normal, active day, so a device that can monitor glucose many times in a day will provide diabetic patients with a very powerful tool in combating such a damaging condition.”

The lens is currently at the prototype phase but scientists say they could be commercially available within three years if all goes well.

The next step will be to check that the dye binds completely to the contact lens and does not leach as this could be dangerous to the eye.


About thecommonconstitutionalist

Brent is not a scholar. He’s not an author or speaker (yet). He hasn’t published a book nor does he write articles for magazines (yet). He has no advanced literary degree or pedigree (never will). He is just an American who writes and shares what interests him. He cares about the salvation of this country and a return to its Constitutional roots. He believes in God, country and family.
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One Response to Suffer No More

  1. Mourad says:

    I believe it is a girtnaeeonal thing, I’m 58 but I have heard this as child from my parents and other family members and I grew in New England but I do not know the origin of using the term sugar to mean diabetes. I also have a more general comment about your website.I agree with your idea of a strong diabetic, I was diagnosed with type 2 in 2004, at the time I weighed 323 lbs and also had hypertension and high cholesterol. I lost 150 lbs in 1 1/2 years and have maintained the weight loss. When diagnosed my a1c was 10.5 and fasting blood sugar was 257 and was prescribed glyburide. I changed my diet, started to exercise lost 20 lbs the first month. My fasting level dropped to 95-100 and was able to stop taking the medication. My yearly a1c test has been 4.2 for the last 6 years, fasting levels and 2 hrs after meals levels has been normal. I don’t have hypertension and cholesterol levels are low. My exercise routine is 30 mins a day 3 to 5 days a week, including both cardio and weight training. My diet though is different from yours, I don’t eat anything made from white flour, white rice and very little sugar. I do eat more whole grains, including whole wheat products and brown rice. A lot more fruits, vegetables, non fat dairy and less meat and fish. Eating more whole grains and fruit does not give me any spikes in my blood sugar, after eating a large meal that included whole wheat bread, vegetables including potato, fruit, and fish. My blood sugar level was only 96 after 2 hours. I am not saying my way of eating is for all diabetics only stating what works for me. I don’t believe in the one size fits all idea of a eating plan for diabetics, each person has to find a eating plan that best fits their lifestyle and allows them to control this disease.

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