New sensor technology measures insulin at point of care for better diabetes control
New sensor technology measures insulin at point of care for proper blood sugar and diabetes control. Scientists have developed world-first insulin sensor technology to enable ‘right now’ measurement of insulin for those managing type 2 diabetes.
Measurement of the level of insulin will enable to predict the correct dose of insulin for better control of blood sugar obviating the risk of hypoglycemia or sudden fall of blood sugar.
Researchers developed a Lab-on-a-Chip technology using micro-fluidics, specialised bio-receptors, and novel micro-electro-mechanical-
Professor Chase, Dr Volker Nock, Dr Rebecca Soffe from Electrical and colleagues have developed the technology.
“The fixed volume of the liquid will stick to the microchip allowing the rest to run off. This changes the mass and thickness of the MEMS array elements which in turn lets us ‘see’ that mass of insulin by the way it changes the dynamic properties of the MEMS device arrays. That is the hope anyway with the patent that’s being filed.”
The study about finding a key measurement of insulin in the body at Point-of-Care is part of a suite of technologies being developed for the management of type 2 diabetes.
At present insulin, measurement requires lab processing of a blood sample, which takes 1-3 days for a result. The process and delay make the test only beneficial to initially diagnose type 2 diabetes, not managing continued care.
“When you don’t know insulin levels you have to guess. Patients tend to run into problems and will often give up on treatment because the risk of injecting too much insulin is too high,” Distinguished Professor Chase says. “With this sensor, you could know what your insulin level is and safely dose, reducing that risk.”
Distinguished Professor Chase has 19 years’ experience working with medical practitioners. His areas of research include diabetes, modelling of human metabolism and hypoglycaemia, and he enjoys seeing the real-world impact of his work. In 2018 he was awarded the MacDiarmid Medal by Royal Society Te Apārangi for physiological modelling of human metabolism used for ‘in-silico’ testing, which has been used to treat intensive care patients in New Zealand and overseas.
“I like the opportunity to see the work I do broadly have an impact. The ultimate accolade is to see something get taken up and see science applied to human benefit.”
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