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Non-invasive glucose test under development

October 8, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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People living with diabetes are all too familiar with the procedure of pricking a finger in order to test their blood glucose levels. But researchers at Princeton University are working on a new technique that may someday do away with pin-prick testing.

Their study, published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express, focused on the use of a "quantum cascade laser" that produces a mid-infrared light.

Unlike medical devices that use near-infrared light, the light within the mid-infrared spectrum can interact with chemicals in the skin. In this case the laser's light penetrates the skin cells without harming them and is absorbed by glucose molecules. The level of blood sugar is then determined by the level of sugar in the dermal interstitial fluid.

By using this method, the team of electrical engineers were able to achieve an accuracy of 84 percent.