Copper Film that can Detect Glucose Levels from Body Fluids
It is extremely irritating for diabetics to prick their finger daily and check glucose levels. Even with home kits, the process requires injuring one’s skin and patients with diabetes do not heal that quickly. There is good news for patients with the sugary disease. A recent research in Australia has developed a copper film that can detect glucose levels in the body fluids that come out voluntarily like the sweat and tears. This is in addition to the benefit of drinking water from copper utensils.
The research was done at the University of Wollongong, in their institute for superconducting and electronic material. They developed a sponge-like porous structure which can absorb body fluids and detect glucose levels accurately. Electrochemical signals generally are triggered by a certain quantity and concentration of fluids and the porous structure that is sponge-like does just that. Copper has an intrinsically good reaction to glucose oxidation and this fact also helps the mechanism. Thus the copper film becomes a good choice for direct detection of glucose without actually having to draw blood even from the finger.
This new discovery can lead to regular blood sugar monitoring without having to prick the finger so many times during the day. This mechanism has been used in an under the skin appliance, but it uses precious metals like platinum in the sensor and hence is pretty expensive for the common people. The use of copper spongy film can reduce the cost of technology and very soon it could be on the market in form of wearable sensor or smartwatch giving regular glucose readings. This also would not require implanting under the skin, and wearing it on the wrist or arm could be enough.