Project Lead(s): Jin Zhang
Management of diabetes – a disease that affects 300 million globally – requires continuous monitoring of blood sugar.
Current approaches to blood glucose measurement are invasive, expensive and unavailable to those with lower income, so many people suffer complications because they do not monitor their blood sugar.
The goal was to develop a non-invasive and continuous glucose sensor for diabetics by measuring the glucose level from other body fluids, including tears.
Two major challenges were the very low concentration of glucose in tears and the difficulty in collecting enough tear sample in a short period.
To address these issues, the researchers incorporated a nanostructured sensor into lens materials.
Patients can wear the lens sensor, just like wearing contact lens, for continuously monitoring glucose levels.
The lens sensor was developed to detect extremely small amounts of tear glucose in a short period.
The project team managed to optimize the different components necessary to develop a working prototype of an eye lens to monitor blood glucose.
By using their proposed method, the team was able to incorporate the nanostructured sensor into lens materials.
The developed lens sensor can detect an extremely small amount of tear glucose in the range of 0.02-5 mM in 2 μL for continuous measurement over five days.
The biocompatibility of the lens sensor was evaluated in vitro.
Further work needs to be done to evaluate the sensors in vivo to establish the sophisticated calibration for the readout system.
Knowledge was disseminated through five peer-reviewed manuscripts.
There are two patent applications related to this work; one was issued in 2013.
An application will be made for Phase II Transition To Scale funding. Other funding opportunities will also be pursued to commercialize the device.