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.