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Sweet beams: Lasers to measure blood sugar

Technique shows early promise in gauging diabetics’ glucose levels

By
4:37pm, September 29, 2011

A new, gentler technique for measuring blood sugar uses a pair of laser beams instead of a needle. The device could provide a way for diabetics to monitor their glucose levels without the pain of pricked fingers.

The physicists who created the device hope it will one day be used in hospitals to monitor patients continually, or miniaturized for the home. But first, the researchers will have to prove that their approach works not just for sugar water but in actual humans, a hurdle that has tripped up many previous efforts.

“Having a noninvasive way to measure glucose has long been a holy grail for our community,” says Andreas Mandelis, an applied physicist at the University of Toronto, who with a colleague describes the technique in an upcoming issue of Physical Review E.

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