Diabetics may have yet another tool in their blood-sugar management arsenal -- an implantable, fluorescent blood-sugar monitor. It involves small hydrogel beads that vary the intensity of emitted light depending on glucose concentration. They're called Life Beans.
The system, developed at the University of Tokyo, could lead to implantable blood-glucose monitors, which could enable 24-7 monitoring of a diabetic's blood sugar without having to prick the skin or use an attachable pump.
"Beans" stands for Bioelectrical Mechanical Autonomous Nano Systems."
Researchers tested it in the ears of a mouse, and watched as the ear fluoresced at different intensities depending on the mouse's blood sugar.
The researchers think it would be possible to develop devices that manage diabetics' blood sugar without them noticing it.
The main problem is the beads' life span -- once they're implanted, the immune system kicks in and attaches proteins to the beads, which effectively dim their light. The next step is engineering a material that resists protein adhesion, the researchers say.
Learn more in this video:
This is perfect for diabetic ravers.
Damn it. Why are none of these technologies on the market? This is the third one on this site in two months. Why are diabetics still pricking their fingers?
For 25 years I have been sticking my finger. The only thing that has change... now it takes 5 seconds, not 45 seconds. Big effing deal.
I could use this.
I'm diabetic and wear bifocals. Implant these things in my ass and maybe I could find it with both hands.