Glucose concentration in interstitial fluid is estimated. Photo: Nikkei xTech

Glucose concentration in body measured with electromagnetic waves

By Motonobu Kawai

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) has developed a sensor that estimates the concentration of glucose in a living body by using electromagnetic waves.

Unlike existing methods to measure glucose concentration, the new method realizes non-invasive measurement. Glucose seeps not only into blood vessels but also into interstitial fluid near skin. Therefore, it is believed that glucose concentration in blood is correlated with glucose concentration in interstitial fluid.

The sensor developed by NTT estimates glucose concentration in interstitial fluid by (1) irradiating skin with electromagnetic waves with frequencies that are absorbed by glucose components and (2) analyzing reflected signals.

NTT said the intensity of reflected waves changes in accordance with glucose concentration by making a probe contact a specimen. Glucose concentration is estimated by analyzing the change.

NTT plans to realize new services for health management and disease prevention by licensing the technology. For example, if the new sensor is employed for a wearable device, it becomes possible to visualize time variation in the estimated value of glucose concentration.

© Nikkei x Tech

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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If they can make this a wearable, there is a potentially huge market for this as part of activity tracking in sports watches etc. That's on top of diabetes, of course. The technology is called continuous glucose measurement (CGM).

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If it works, it is very good news.

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I need one of these for my spouse. Pronto ! I feel so sorry for her having to stick her fingers all day long.

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