Pain-Free Alternative for Diabetics: No More Finger Pricking to Check Glucose! (Download PDF)


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Scientists have developed disposable paper-based sensors that can measure glucose concentrations in saliva, paving the way for a pain-free alternative to diabetics for monitoring their blood sugar levels daily – as per a study published in the Nature journal.

Image Of Fully Inkjet-Printed

Image Of Fully Inkjet-Printed

Image Of Fully Inkjet-Printed

a) Photograph of glucose biosensors inkjet-printed on paper b) Photograph of fully printed biosensor c) 3D schematic of working electrode with all separately printed layers d) Cross sectional SEM image of the working electrode

Developed By:

A team from the Sensors Lab of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia used inkjet technology to produce sensors sensitive to small sugar concentrations in bio fluids.

Requirement of this Technology

  • Inexpensive and easy-to-use diagnostic tools for fast health screening are imperative, especially in the developing world, where portability and affordability are a necessity.

  • The pain and discomfort associated with finger pricking have created a global need to develop non-invasive, portable glucose assays.

Procedure to Prepare Sensor to Use this Technology

  • Strips of pH-sensitive paper are commonly used to test whether a liquid is acidic or alkaline.

  • Researchers applied similar principles to create paper sensors that quickly indicate disease biomarkers.

  • Key to this approach is replacing traditional electronic circuitry in the sensors with low-cost plastics that can be manufactured quickly and in large quantities.

  • Utilising a commercial ink made from conducting polymers, the team printed microscale electrode patterns onto glossy paper sheets.

  • They printed a sensing layer containing an enzyme, glucose oxidase, on top of the tiny electrodes.

  • The biochemical reaction between available glucose and the enzyme creates electrical signals easily correlated to blood sugar levels.

  • The novel sensor has a bright future

  • This fully printed, all-polymer biosensor with its ease of fabrication, accuracy, sensitivity & compatibility w/easy-to-obtain bio fluids such as saliva aids in the development of next generation low-cost, non-invasive, eco-friendly, and disposable diagnostic tools.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 15, 2019

Science/Technology, Health

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