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[IP] Research Efforts in Noninvasive Glucose Monitors Growing

New York - Recent advances in glucose monitoring have allowed more frequent
testing and resulted in a better assessment of glycemic status in patients
with diabetes, according to researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
Advances in glucose monitoring include the Continuous Glucose Monitoring
System (CGMS; MiniMed, Northridge, California), and the GlucoWatch
biographer (Cygnus, Redwood City, California). However, these devices have
For example, the CGMS, which measures glucose in the interstitial fluid
through a small subcutaneously implanted sensor, does not display real-time
glucose values. The GlucoWatch biographer, a wristwatch-like device
containing a glucose sensor, measures glucose drawn from interstitial fluid
through intact skin and provides glucose readings up to 3 times per hour.
Each sensor in the GlucoWatch biographer lasts 12 hours, and measurement is
affected by the condition of the skin. Both devices require periodic
calibration to blood glucose measured by standard meters.
However, noninvasive glucose measuring devices, which require neither sensor
nor reagent, may only be 3 to 5 years away, according to Charles M.
Petersen, MD, who presented a state-of-the-art overview of noninvasive
technology at a symposium during the 61st Annual Scientific Sessions of the
American Diabetes Association held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last week.
Several devices are currently in various stages of development and are based
on technologies such as infrared or near-infrared spectroscopy, ultraviolet
absorption spectroscopy, polarimetry, and radio-wave impedance.
At this time, Dr. Petersen said, the infrared/near infrared approach appears
to be one of the most promising. However, he cautioned that these devices
also have limitations to overcome, such as size of the device, specificity,
reproducibility, and cost.
New developments in areas such as nanotechnology will help drive research in
new ways to measure glucose levels. According to Dr. Petersen, research will
continue to flourish because the worldwide market for glucose monitoring
(including meters, strips and related products), currently estimated at
billions of dollars per year, will be fueled by the demands of the
ever-increasing number of people diagnosed with diabetes.
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