The “holy grail” of blood sugar monitoring for diabetics, according to Australian experts, is a non-invasive strip that monitors glucose levels via saliva.
For diabetics, Australian researchers hope that a low-cost saliva test will eventually replace the existing needle-based test.
Diabetics often manage their blood sugar levels by pricking their fingers with a lancet several times a day and then inserting a drop of blood on a testing strip. Some diabetics, understandably, want to minimize the unpleasant procedure by reducing the number of tests they have.
According to Paul Dastoor, Professor of Physics at the University of Newcastle in Australia, who led the team that developed it, this latest test works by embedding an enzyme that detects glucose inside a transistor that can then convey the presence of glucose.
The test can be done at a low cost because the electronic materials in the transistor are inks, according to Dastoor.
“The holy grail of glucose testing has been something that is non-invasive,” said Dastoor.
“[This test] really does open up the prospect of pain-free, low-cost glucose testing and hopefully much better outcomes for diabetes sufferers,” he said.
If the clinical studies are successful, the project will get A$6.3 million ($4.7 million) in financing from the Australian government to construct a facility to manufacture the test kits.
According to Dastoor, the technology might be used for COVID-19 testing as well as allergy, hormone, and cancer testing.
Using the same technologies, the university is already working on a COVID-19 test with Harvard University.
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