Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Chemists at the University of Pittsburgh have been developing sensor technology that may eliminate the need for blood glucose testing to diagnose and manage diabetes, according to Red Orbit.
This type of breathalyzer device functions by measuring breath acetone levels, which increase with high blood sugar values, creating the fruity smell associated with uncontrolled disease. Their proposed method is a cost effective and non-invasive approach to diabetes management. A device such as this is also very user friendly increasing the likelihood for disease monitoring and compliance.
Researchers lightheartedly call their product "titanium dioxide on a stick" - combining the electrical properties of tubes with light-illuminating powers of the titanium dioxide. By using these materials as an electrical semiconductor they created this sensitive tool to measure the electrical resistance, essentially the sensor's signal.
Lead researcher Alexander Star states their technology has excellent detection capabilities. With such a successful device in hand they could quickly close the gap between themselves and current competitive blood glucose monitoring equipment that is now commercially available to us.
The researchers are developing a prototype of their product presently with hopes of testing on human breath samples in the near future.