New reusable glucose-monitoring smartphone case makes blood glucose measurement easier

11 December 2017

A new reusable glucose-monitoring smartphone case developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego, could make it easier for diabetics to test blood glucose without using a traditional kit.

"Integrating blood glucose sensing into a smartphone would eliminate the need for patients to carry a separate device," Patrick Mercier, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego and senior author, said in a statement. "An added benefit is the ability to autonomously store, process, and send blood glucose readings from the phone to a care provider or cloud service.''

The device, called GPhone, is built into a smartphone case with an accompanying app that allows patients to record and track their glucose readings. The 3D-printed case fits over the smartphone and comes with a permanent, reusable sensor on the corner and also has enzyme-packed pellets that magnetically attach to the sensors. The pellets are housed in the 3D stylus attached to the side of the case.

The glucose test involves dispensing one of the pellets from the stylus onto a bare sensor strip on the case.

This activates the sensor and the user then places a drop of blood on top of the reusable sensor strip, which takes the sample. The electronic module then wirelessly transmits the data to the app for displaying on the user's mobile screen. The pellet is discarded following the test. According to the statement, the stylus can hold enough pellets for 30 tests.

The pellets contain an enzyme called glucose oxidase that reacts with glucose. The reaction generates an electrical signal that can be measured by the sensor's electrodes - the stronger the signal, the higher the glucose concentration.

The team, which tested the system on different solutions of known glucose concentrations found that the results were accurate throughout multiple tests.

''An added benefit is the ability to autonomously store, process and send blood glucose readings from the phone to a care provider or cloud service,'' Mercier said, IANS reported.

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