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 -
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.' - Doc Smith, 1934.
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.
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.
Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'
Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'
Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'
Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'
R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'
Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.
SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'
Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'
Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'
Clarke Was Right, Artificial Intelligences DO Dream
'Of course you will dream. No one knows why."
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories