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Tiny tattoos could help diabetics ditch needles

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posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 07:29 PM
Tiny tattoos could help diabetics ditch needles
New sensor acts like a mood ring for glucose levels in mouse experiments

Eight-year-old Julia Balobeck needs to prick her fingers so many times each day that the tips of her digits have started to turn numb and black. Even at her age, she understands that the needle sticks are crucial to keep track of her blood sugar levels and manage her Type 1 diabetes, but she’d really like someone to find a better way.

Help may be on its way for Balobeck and other diabetics who must jab themselves as many as 10 times each day to get that critical drop of blood that will reveal glucose levels and indicate whether a shot of insulin is needed.

Scientists are starting to test a kind of sensor that changes color with rising blood sugar levels. The high-tech tattoo, which is about the size of the clicker on the end of a ballpoint pen, is made up of tiny spheres that are injected into the outermost layer of skin. These nanospheres contain a special kind of ink that reacts with glucose, explains the tattoo’s inventor, Heather Clark, a biomedical engineer at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.

Nanospheres may be able to help monitor glucose levels in diabetics. Blood sugar levels would be easily visible to them as well as others if they were having problems.

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 07:48 PM
The child has been sticking her finger 10 times a day? Nonsense.

I've been sticking my fingers for 30 years and my fingertips are still as soft as a babies butt.

I have no callous or discoloration.

I give my insulin and B12 injections and have to move around on my tummy or scar tissue will build up after a few years.

But have absolutely no problem with my fingertips. I can still play Stairway To Heaven with no problem on my clarinet.

[edit on 13-11-2009 by dizziedame]

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 09:07 PM
reply to post by dizziedame

The article didn't say SHE jabs herself 10 times a day it said "some" diabetice have to do this. Those ones must be doing something wrong if they can't get it right the 1st time.

Still this sounds like awesome new technology that could help lots of people better manage their sugar levels.

Great Thread.

[edit on 13-11-2009 by FortAnthem]

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