Graphene armband monitors diabetes through sweat

21 March 2016
By Jack Loughran
Mobile version
Share |
The graphene patch is more convenient than current treatments available to diabetics

The graphene patch is more convenient than current treatments available to diabetics

A wearable graphene-based patch has been developed that allows accurate diabetes monitoring and feedback therapy by analysing the sweat of the wearer.

The device’s detecting capabilities are achieved by integrating electrochemically active and soft functional materials on a hybrid of gold-doped graphene and a serpentine-shape gold mesh.

Its pH and temperature monitoring functions enable systematic corrections of sweat glucose measurements, as the enzyme-based glucose sensor is affected by pH (blood acidity levels) and temperature.

South Korea’s Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has been developing the device because diabetes represents a significant health hazard in the country. Roughly three million Koreans are affected, a figure that is increasing due to dietary patterns and an aging society.

The patch is said to be more convenient than the current treatments available to diabetics which are often painful, inconvenient and costly. Regular visits to a doctor and home testing kits are also needed to record glucose levels.

KIM Dae-Hyeong, a scientist from IBS’s Center for Nanoparticle Research, describes the vast array of components used in the patch: “Our wearable GP-based device is capable of not only sweat-based glucose and pH monitoring, but also controlled transcutaneous drug delivery through temperature-responsive microneedles.

“Precise measurement of sweat glucose concentrations are used to estimate the levels of glucose in the blood of a patient. The device retains its original sensitivity after multiple uses, thereby allowing for multiple treatments.

“The connection of the device to a portable wireless power supply and data transmission unit enables the point-of-care treatment of diabetes.”

Explaining how the device works, Dae-Hyeong said: “The patch is applied to the skin where sweat-based glucose monitoring begins on sweat generation.

“The humidity sensor monitors the increase in relative humidity (RH). It takes an average of 15 minutes for the sweat-uptake layer of the patch to collect sweat and reach RH over 80 per cent, at which time glucose and pH measurements are initiated.”

A group of Israeli engineers recently demonstrated a smartphone connected washable smart sock fitted with dozens of pressure sensors that can help diabetes sufferers avoid foot amputation.

Last year, a new type of diabetes pump was demonstrated that mimics the pancreas by using sensors to anticipate blood sugar levels to prevent hypoglycaemic attacks.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Asset Specialist

    Affinity Water
    • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

    Responsible for updating and writing electrical engineering standards, approved codes of practice and safe systems of work

    • Recruiter: Affinity Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Circuit Card Assembly

    MBDA
    • Lostock Junction
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What’s the opportunity?   Manufacturing UK is an integral part of the Operations Directorate whose principal mission is to ensure that MBDA’s deliverable commitments are met...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Team Leader - Flank Arrays

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, Cumbria, England
    • Negotiable

    Team Leader - Flank Arrays Would you like to work in a unique role within the construction of the Astute Class submarines? We currently have a vacancy for a Team Leader - Flank Arrays at our site in Barrow-in-Furness. As a Team Leader - Flank Arrays, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics and Software Engineer

    Copley Scientific Ltd
    • Nottingham
    • circa £35,000 per annum + bonus

    Develop new test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. Good opportunities to grow and develop. Successful family-owned and managed business.

    • Recruiter: Copley Scientific Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer - Highways Technology

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Birmingham, West Midlands

    Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T