Mid-ir noninvasive blood glucose meter technology of the future

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease which can affect nearly every organ system in the body. There are million of people around the world suffering from diabetes. For the diabetes control on the blood glucose levels requires proper treatment, including diet and exercise, various oral medications, and/or insulin injections. Proper diabetes management can help avoid complications such as blindness, kidney failure and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The self monitoring is vital to diabetes management which is mostly done with the use of the finger-stick method. These glucometers require a little prick on the fingertip to draw a small drop of blood. However regular monitoring may cause great discomfort and irritation. There are efforts on to develop noninvasive blood glucose meters. In the recent years success has been achieved in development of mid-ir non invasive blood glucose meter.

What is the mid-ir non invasive blood glucose meter?

The finger prick causes substantial discomfort when done multiple times. Thus the noninvasive blood glucose (BG) measurements are being studied to make them useful for continuous monitoring. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy has emerged as the analytical method of choice in the recent years. It is founded on the spectrum of IR colors characteristic of the analyte itself rather than on reagents and color reactions.

For the non invasive glucose test the method and instrument is based on the discovery that natural mid-IR emission from the human body, mostly from the tympanic membrane, is modulated by the state of the emitting tissue. It has been seen that Spectral emissivity of human IR radiation from the tympanic membrane consists of spectral information of the blood analyte. It can be correlated to the blood analyte concentration like the glucose concentration. The technology that is used for the glucose measurement device is also based on principle that the human body naturally emits strong electromagnetic radiation in the micrometer wavelength region.

An attempt to find a solution is being made by California-based Oculir. The painless non invasive meter monitors the blood glucose levels by inspecting the tiny blood vessels of the eye, without touching the eyeball. The monitor is about the size of a cell phone. The patients hold it up to their eyes, and it bounces a harmless beam of infrared light off the membrane (conjuctiva) that surrounds the white of the eye. Glucose has strong capacity to absorb mid-infrared (IR) radiation. The spectrum of light used is invisible and of a wavelength that can interact with glucose molecules in blood that flows through tiny vessels in the thin membrane covering the eye. The light reflected back is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood. The more glucose in the blood the less signal is reflected back at the specific wavelength which gives the non invasive measure of blood glucose levels. What is unique about this meter is that other existing systems use near-IR radiation on the skin which is very weak and the skin is too complex. This test relies on the mid-IR region of the spectrum which has a different spectrum in this part of electromagnetic spectrum.

Efforts are being done by different companies to use this technology to achieve non prick glucose meters which can make continuous monitoring and control simpler and safer. The mid-ir noninvasive blood glucose meters are beneficial and would find extensive use in diabetes management.