Friday, December 06, 2013

Implantable sensor may monitor cancer and diabetes

Researchers from MIT have recently designed a sensor made of carbon nanotubes which can be used to monitor glucose and nitric oxide levels through fluorescence.  The devise contains 1 nanometer diameter carbon cylinders which have a natural fluorescence which can be altered as chemicals in the body bind.  These changes in fluorescence are monitored by nanotube sensors such as hydrogen oxide.  The sensor is implantable under the skin and can last an estimated 400 days before needing to be replaced.  These sensors would be able to offer real time glucose monitoring for diabetic patients as an alternative to an insulin pump or traditional finger prick testing, a great improvement for more precise readings and less strain on daily living.  I was interested in this article as one of my roommates was recently diagnosed with a rare type of diabetes which he has struggled to keep in check this semester.  This technology would allow him to better control his blood sugar level by giving him constant feedback for the trends of his glucose level after eating or injecting insulin, helping him to avoid the near death experiences he has had in the last few months.


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