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Valley researchers work on new blood sugar test

Image of tear glucose microfluid capture system provided by Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
PHOENIX — More than 23 million Americans who suffer from diabetes and prick their fingers several times a day to check glucose levels may soon have an alternative, thanks to research underway in the Valley. A team from Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic are working on a new device that would make testing easier. “Instead of taking a lancet and poking your finger and drawing blood and putting that blood onto the sensor, we made a little adaptation of the sensor that would allow you to touch your eyeball, take some of the tear fluid off the white part of your eye, the conjunctiva, and we’ll capture that tear fluid into ur sensor and analyze that rather than blood,” explained ASU Professor Jeffrey LaBelle. Researchers say the glucose in tear fluid may give as accurate a reading as a blood sample. The researchers are now testing the procedure on animals. It will be a few years before people can use it. “The typical medical device takes three to five years to go through FDA with all the proper paperwork and testing done,” said LaBelle. He said researchers and doctors hope the “tear test” will encourage diabetics to keep better tabs on their condition. “That’s one of the biggest issues we’ve heard — that

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people don’t test enough. And doctors tell us that’s very important to do. The better you monitor your blood glucose levels, the better your outcome with the disease will be in the long run,” LaBelle said. He added, “The goal of the project was really to render a product to the market as quickly as possible to help people and not take 10 years to get there.” Source:

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