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Diabetics must undergo several blood tests per day to ensure that their glucose levels are within a healthy range. This process can be burdensome and leave individuals with sores on their fingers. In order to remedy the situation, a team of researchers from Brown University has developed a system that may allow diabetics to test their saliva instead of blood.
The scientists developed a new microchip that is capable of measuring glucose concentrations from relatively small amounts of saliva. This could save diabetics the trouble of having to prick their fingers multiple times per day to do their blood testing.
The concept of testing saliva instead of blood is nothing new. However, given the fact that glucose concentrations tend to be about 100 times lower in saliva, no one had been able to develop a system capable of taking these measurements.
Findings from the study could have implications beyond blood testing for diabetics. The researchers said their study proved the concept that the method used by their microchip could be used to detect the presence of molecules in extremely low concentrations. This could be useful for detecting everything from deadly biological agents to biomarkers for diseases.
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