Diabetes Tattoo Tests For Glucose Levels
A diabetes tattoo might be just the thing to relieve diabetes sufferers of the constant pain of needle sticks. Most monitoring methods require that a blood sample be taken using a needle; researchers have long sought a non-invasive test method.
(Fluorescent polymer microbeads for diabetes tattoo)
Gerard Cote, biomedical engineering professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, is testing an experimental system using fluorescent polymer microbeads implanted just under a patient's skin. Glucose levels affect how much light the beads emit, which could be measured with a wristwatch-like monitor.
The experimental microgel beads, injected just under the skin, are too big to enter cells - unlike tattooing, in which cells absorb the pigment. Instead, the beads remain in the spaces between the cells, called the interstitial spaces. Fluid in those spaces contains water and glucose molecules small enough to pass through the PEG and reach the fluorophore-tagged polymers. Cote said the level of glucose in interstitial fluid is related to the blood glucose level that's measured by the traditional needle-stick method.
The dextran molecules bind to the conA molecules. Together, under light from a laser or light-emitting diode, they emit a certain color under fluorescence. However, when glucose enters the picture, it competes with dextran, displacing the dextran molecules and binding to the conA. The fluorescent color changes according to the amount of glucose present.
In preliminary studies, the researchers injected the microbeads under a rat's skin and found that the rat tolerated the implant. The beads did fluoresce under the rat's skin and indicated a change in glucose level.
Active tattoos can be found in various sf works; consider the subdermal microchannels from the 1985 cyberpunk classic Stone Lives by Paul Di Filippo:
June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry in the core of Mao/K'ung Fu-Tzu. Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted. The channels are filled with synthetic luciferase, the biochemical responsible for the glow of fireflies.
(Read more about Di Filippo's Subdermal Microchannels)
A similar idea is used in Nova Swing by M. John Harrison.
Don't miss these unusual tattoo stories:
Via Texas A&M Engineering: Fighting diabetes where It hurts. Thanks to reader KafirCake for the tip on the story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/1/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.
Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'
Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.' - John Varley, 1984.
Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Drone Swarm Lifts Truck - Not!
'It was now the season that these Birds were wont to take their flight away...'
A Passing Drone Has Covid-19 Advice
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up.'
Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently...'
Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.
Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'
reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'
No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'
Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories