Disposable diabetes patch measures sweat glucose and delivers metformin

Wearable patch successfully delivered metformin under the skin of mice and reduced blood glucose levels, offering a system researchers say could be used in clinical settings as a treatment for diabetes.

Wearable sweat monitoring patch which can be used to treat diabetes

The ongoing need to check insulin levels via blood collection and administer insulin injections is a barrier to effective diabetes management.

Therefore, researchers from South Korea have developed a potential alternative approach in the form of a wearable and disposable patch that non-invasively measures sweat glucose and delivers medication via microneedles.

In a paper published in Science Advances
(8 March 2017), the researchers discovered that sweat glucose levels recorded by the patch correlated well with blood glucose measured with a commercial glucose meter. They also tested the microneedle drug delivery mechanism in mice, where metformin was successfully delivered under the skin and resulted in dose-dependent blood-glucose reduction.

The researchers say that with further research and development, the system could be pursued in clinical settings as a painless, stress-free way to treat diabetes.


[1] Lee H, Song C, Hong YS et al. Wearable/disposable sweat-based glucose monitoring device with multistage transdermal drug delivery module. Sci Adv 2017;3:e1601314. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601314

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, May 2017, Vol 9, No 5;9(5):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202547

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