Scientists have discovered an alternative method to check the blood glucose aka blood sugar level, eradicating the need to prick finger tips to get blood samples and then check their sugar level.
A team from the Sensors Lab of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia have developed a method called “Inkjet technology”, which consists of sensors that are sensitive to small sugar concentrations in bio-fluids. As per the study report published in the Nature journal, the Inkjet technology uses disposable paper-based sensors that can measure glucose concentration in saliva. The paper-based sensor detects the biochemical reaction between available glucose and enzyme creates electrical signals which are correlated to blood sugar level.
The team printed micro-scale electrode patterns onto glossy paper sheets with commercial ink made of conducting polymers, and then a sensing layer containing an enzyme, glucose oxidase, on top of the tiny electrodes. Whenever the paper detects the biochemical reaction, it immediately creates electrical signals which state the blood sugar level as the pH measuring strips are sensitive to an acidic or alkaline chemical. The researchers applied the same principles to create those paper sensors that indicate disease bio-marker quickly.
Developing this technology was not an easy task, they faced many problems. One of the researcher Eloise Bihar said, “Paper is porous, which makes it challenging to print conducting and biological inks that are dissolved in water. Printing the enzyme is tricky, as well – it’s sensitive to variations of temperature, the voltage applied at the cartridge, and the pH of the ink” stating the issues they faced while developing this technology, but soon this technology will replace the traditional electronic circuitry machines to check the sugar level.