Navigation Links
Saliva Test Might Someday Replace Needle Prick for Diabetics

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new type of sensor for people with diabetes is being developed to measure sugar levels in the body using saliva instead of blood, researchers report.

Scientists at Brown University in Providence, R.I., created the sensor and successfully tested it using artificial saliva. It uses light, metal and a special enzyme that changes color when exposed to blood sugar.

"Everybody knows that diabetics have to prick their fingers to draw blood to check their blood sugar and then respond to that information. And they have to do that multiple times a day," said study co-author Tayhas Palmore, a professor of engineering, chemistry and medical science at Brown.

"We're looking for another possibility, and realized that saliva is another bodily fluid that could be measured," Palmore said.

This idea is a welcome one, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "People are always trying to come up with new ideas of how to measure blood sugar without pricking the fingers."

The sensor won't be available anytime soon, however. "The process of [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] approval will take a long time, and we have to see how accurate this device is in humans, especially humans who are eating and drinking, which will possibly contaminate the sample," Zonszein said.

Findings from the study, which received funding from the National Science Foundation, were published recently in the journal Nanophotonics.

To check their blood sugar -- or glucose -- levels, people with diabetes -- especially those who need insulin -- must prick one of their fingers to draw a drop of blood. The blood is put on a test strip that goes into a blood sugar meter. They are supposed to repeat this procedure four times a day, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The results of the blood sugar tests guide treatment, with diabetes patients often adjusting medication or insulin levels based on the test reading to maintain acceptable glucose levels.

The Brown researchers realized that saliva also contains glucose, though in much lower quantities.

The new device uses light and a metal surface that interferes with the way light hits a sample, Palmore said. The light "reads" how a special enzyme reacts to the presence of sugar in saliva to measure the concentration of sugar in a sample.

The researchers tested the sensor on artificial saliva to see how well it works without the potential complications found in real saliva. For example, food or drinks could alter the results. The sensor was able to detect sugar levels with high accuracy, they said.

Palmore said the next step is to make the device portable, hopefully small enough to fit in your hand. They also need to test it on real saliva, and find inexpensive light sources. Palmore said the researchers are also working on ways to measure insulin levels in the body.

Some sort of rinse for use before testing a saliva sample is also needed. A mouthwash could remove food or other contaminants that might affect the glucose reading, according to Palmore.

"Just because there is an established way of measuring blood sugar, doesn't mean it's the only way," said Palmore. "This is a priority area of research for many people. There's some hope that you may not have to prick yourself every couple of hours."

Zonszein added that the idea of searching for alternatives is a good one. "But to apply that from the lab to human clinical trials is still very far away," he said.

More information

Learn more about blood sugar monitoring from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Tayhas Palmore, Ph.D., professor, engineering, chemistry and medical science, Brown University School of Engineering, Providence, R.I.; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; June 2014 Nanophotonics

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva
2. Compounds in saliva and common body proteins may fend off DNA-damaging chemicals
3. Feasible, safe to limit radiation to major salivary glands in head and neck cancer patients
4. Reducing RT dose to bilateral IB lymph nodes results in better patient-reported salivary function
5. Now Available from Salimetrics: SalivaBio High Quality Cryostorage Boxes
6. Korean Novelist Choi In-ho Dies of Salivary Gland Cancer
7. UCLA Dentistry receives $5 million to study extracellular RNA in saliva
8. Researchers Identify Involuntary Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Boston Public Housing Authority Residents with Salivary Cotinine Testing from Salimetrics.
9. Saliva gland test for Parkinsons shows promise, study finds
10. First gene therapy study in human salivary gland shows promise
11. Sensor detects glucose in saliva and tears for diabetes testing
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Saliva Test Might Someday Replace Needle Prick for Diabetics
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field lead the many ... Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel nursing, ranked at ... through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare staffing agency released ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., ... inclusion of an application server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new ... many of these standards, the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Friendswood, TX (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... through the companies’ “ Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the ... its services to aid in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Raton, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... diagnostic testing for physicians and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics ... importance of testing young athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26 november 2015 AAIPharma Services ... geplande investering aan van ten minste $15,8 ... en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit ... groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Pacific Cardiac Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in ... Demand " report to their offering. ... Boston scientific and others. ... including Medtronic, Biotronik, Boston scientific and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the Global Cell Surface Testing ... Opportunities" report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: