Sweat Monitoring Wearable Patch That Can Releases Diabetic Drugs When Required


The breakthrough invention came from the Center for Nanoparticle Research at South Korean Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and was published in “Nature Nanotechnology” journal on Monday. This wearable graphene-based electrochemical device allows an accurate monitoring of diabetes and also releases drugs into the bloodstream when required (via feedback therapy using human sweat).

diabetes patch for continuous monitoring and release of drugs

                        Figure 1: IBS Graphene-based wearable diabetes patch

This multi-functional, non-invasive, painless and stress-free diabetes markers monitoring device is consists of sensors to monitor humidity and glucose level which are sandwiched in between a silicone water proof film and a sweat collecting layer. The sensors pick up the sweat from the patient’s skin and depending on the pH and temperature detects a high and low glucose level. These measurements of sweat glucose are then used to estimate blood glucose levels. 

 GP-hybrid electrochemical devices and thermoresponsive drug delivery microneedles

Figure 2: GP-hybrid electrochemical devices and thermoresponsive drug delivery microneedles

During the research the patches were applied to healthy men and glucose and pH levels were monitored. The research revealed a reliable connection between sweat glucose readings and readings from a conventional glucose test.

diabetes monitoring wearable patch demonstration

                    Figure 3: Demonstration of the wearable diabetes monitoring and therapy system in vivo.

The patch is applied to the skin where sweat-based glucose monitoring begins on sweat generation,” explains KIM Dae-Hyeong, a scientist from the institute’s Center for Nanoparticle Research. “The humidity sensor monitors the increase in relative humidity (RH). It takes an average of 15 minutes for the sweat-uptake layer of the patch to collect sweat and reach a RH over 80 percent at which time glucose and pH measurements are initiated.”

This device has some similarities with other devices including the sweat analyzing skin patch of 2014 and multipurpose wrist band from earlier this year. But this device goes a step further with real time and actual drug delivering.

The device comes with a setup of micro needles that deliver drugs into the bloodstream on detection of high glucose levels. The patch was tested by attaching it to the abdomen of diabetic mice. The microneedles punctured the skin and released insulin regulating drug metformin on detection of high glucose levels.

Like natural insulin the patch shall control blood sugar without an additional drug regimen.

Figures credit:  Figure 1, 2, 3 © Institute for Basic Science, Seoul, South Korea

Featured Image: Graphics remixed by

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