Wednesday, 20 August 2014
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Determining diabetes

A wearable patch that can constantly regulate diabetes is being developed by researchers in Spain.

The team from the University of Seville explained that the patch would use micro needles 200 microns long to extract interstitial liquid from a patient's tissues.

Lead researcher José Manuel Quero said the liquids would then go through a microfluidic circuit where it would meet different sensors and reactive elements.

The system will be designed, he said, to measure different variables that determine factors such as the level of glucose.

The results would then be sent wirelessly to a diabetic patient's mobile phone.

Quero said that the same needles and process used to extract the tissue liquid could also be used to inject insulin. He said this is the key difference between their proposed device and continuous glucose-monitoring technology on the market.

The Seville team recently finished the initial stage of its research, which is being conducted through the Mireia project. The programme is financed by the National Plan of the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry.

Over the last four years, the Seville researchers' efforts focused on choosing the right components for the patch. The team is now working on issues regarding the integration of the components.

Quero said the researchers decided to design the micro needles with a biocompatible material called SU-8. The needles were processed using different techniques to put them in a flexible printed circuit.

The researchers created a means for extracting fluid by using technology patented by the University of Seville for a micro syringe.

Ellie Zolfagharifard

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