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Glucose 'Tattoo' Could Track Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetics
Date:6/4/2010

ly using a finger stick at least several times a day. The biggest advantage these devices offer is they let someone with diabetes know whether their blood sugar levels are trending up or down.

The reason this is important is that people with type 1 diabetes have to try to maintain as normal blood sugar levels as possible. If blood sugar levels go too low, people with diabetes can go into a coma, and can even die if they don't do something to raise their blood sugar levels. And, if blood sugar levels are too high, many areas in the body, including the eyes, kidneys and the heart, can be damaged.

"Most of the damage diabetes does occurs over short time periods where glucose is spiking and going out of the normal range. If you could intervene and prevent these spikes, you could mitigate many of the effects of this damaging disease," said Strano.

Strano said the researchers are currently trying the nanoparticles in animals, and so don't yet know what side effects or allergic reactions might occur. "We're proceeding in a cautious way," he said.

"Everybody is looking for a painless way to monitor blood sugar, and this technology sounds good, but I have no idea if it's going to work or not. From here to reality will take a lot of steps and research," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Plus, he said, there's always the possibility of an adverse reaction to anything placed inside the body. "Our cells don't like foreign bodies. Already, immune cells very carefully try to reject the continuous glucose monitor sensor and fibrose [form scar tissue] around it," he said.

More information

To learn more about the current advances in continuous glucose monitoring, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases'/>"/>

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