A graphene wristband measures levels of blood glucose and treats diabetes.
Researchers have come up with a transparent wrist cuff that records blood glucose with ease. Diabetic patients can also get regular doses of a sugar lowering drug through this wristband and thus be free of any symptoms.
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Although it is not a very reliable treatment just yet, for many it is a means of countering the blood sugar rollercoaster they ride everyday. It could be used for monitoring purposes. Also it is an application of graphene which is a novel material that has yet to be put to different uses.
Graphene is a very thin type of carbon that has exciting electronic features. In itself graphene cannot be a glucose detector. However, if you dope 2-D carbon, the result is that it becomes an electrochemistry experiment in the making.
This invention was carried out in three places…Texas, South Korea and Massachusetts. The graphene was doped with small quantities of gold in order to get the desired effect.
The study was published in the journal Nature. The substitution of a functioning pancreas dates back to the isolation of the hormone insulin in the 1920s.
A pancreas transplant had proved futile since the immune system of the recipient rejected the donor’s organ. Today, the antirejection drugs have proved to be a dud too since their side effects are much worse than the original affliction of diabetes.
The tissues for transplant are in short supply too, so all this is not very feasible. A substitute for the organ that is mechanical in nature is the best solution to this problem.
An AI pancreas could prove ideal since it would follow a cybernetic loop and thus solve the sensing and dosage issue in one fell swoop.
In the past two years or so, such systems have entered the market. Mostly, they are used by patients with Type 1 diabetes. Since the body no longer makes any insulin, these mechanical systems become a necessary substitute.
Robotic pancreas have a small needle that enters the skin and detects transformations in blood glucose. A computerized system allows them to determine the necessary dose and then administer it via an insulin pump.
All three functions are linked in a complex manner. Such a closed-loop machine is even more effective in case of patients with Type 2 diabetes. The wristband notes down several things in the skin.
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It is linked up with a mobile device to allow for micromanagement and monitoring. Sugar levels can be managed effectively via this methodology.