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Introduction of a New Patch Analyzing Sweat to Detect Blood Sugar Levels

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Unlike finger pricking, the traditional method of monitoring levels of the blood sugar glucose, the new patch detects the levels of glucose in a person’s sweat. Research has shown that glucose level in sweat accurately reflect glucose levels in the blood.

The researchers also showed that the patch can deliver the diabetes drug metformin through the skin and that it can reduce high blood glucose levels.

The researchers are very interested in making the patch commercially available, and are talking about it with several companies in Korea, said study co-author Hyunjae Lee, of the Institute for Basic Science in Seoul, South Korea.

But more research is needed before the patch can be used in people with diabetes, the researchers said. Scientists have been looking for a noninvasive way to monitor the levels of glucose, in people with diabetes, because finger pricking can be painful and some patients are unwilling to do it, the researchers said.

To make the new patch, the researchers combined gold particles and grapheme a type of material that shows promise for use in wearable electronics because it is flexible, and can be transparent, soft and very thin, the researchers said.

A photo of the diabetes patch partially peeled off from the user’s skin. The patch consists of wearable sensors that detect the levels of glucose in sweat, as well as an integrated system with micro-needles that deliver the glucose-regulating drug metformin. When the sensors detect a high level of glucose in the sweat, heaters embedded in the patch prompt the micro-needles to release the drug and lower the glucose level.


In this project, our aim is to detect the glucose level of the individual using the thermal images of the palm. Here we use Mid infra-red rays to detect the glucose level instead of Near infra-red rays because although near infra-red light is not blocked by water making it suitable for human body, it interacts with a number of acids and chemicals in the skin which makes it unsuitable for detecting glucose level.

In the most basic of terms, thermal imaging allows you to see an object’s heat radiating off itself. Thermal cameras more or less record the temperature of various objects in frame, and then assign each temperature a shade of color, which lets you see how much heat its radiating compared to objects around it.


Colder Blue, Purple, Green

Warmer Red, Orange, Yellow

Thermal cameras detect temperature by recognizing and capturing different levels of infrared light. This light is invisible to the naked eye, but can be felt as heat if the intensity is high enough.

All objects emit some kind of infrared radiation, and it’s one of the ways that heat is transferred. If you hold your hand over some hot coals on the grill, those coals are emitting a ton of infrared radiation, and the heat is transferred to your hand. Furthermore, only about half of the sun’s energy is given off as visible light, the rest is a mix of ultraviolet and infrared light.

The hotter an object is, the more infrared radiation is produced. Thermal cameras can see this radiation and convert it to an image that we can see with our eyes. Inside the thermal camera, there are a bunch of tiny measuring devices that capture infrared radiation, called microbolometer records the temperature and then assigns that pixel to an appropriate color.

As you might have guessed, this is why most thermal cameras have an extremely low resolution compared to modern TVs and other displays. Most thermal cameras rely on longer wavelength of infrared, whereas typical night vision security camera captures shorter wavelength of infrared. Thermal compression the other hand, have the ability to capture longer wavelengths of infrared, allowing to detect heat.

Recent research as an uncovered a link between insulin and temperature. Insulin seems to work as an internal thermostat, helping to raise core body temperature by triggering the burning of “brown fats” cells. Many type1 diabetes have a low core body temperature that is below 97degree is one of the earlier signs of the disease whereas the type2diabetes warm a body rather than cooling it.

Since, body temperature depends on the level of glucose in the body it is possible for us to detect the sugar level using thermal camera which produce images depending on the temperature.

After selecting the required images for analysis, four regions of interest were identified on the acquired images. A series of tests are need to done using thermal camera. After comparing images, the approximate glucose level can be detected.


Detecting the glucose level using thermal image can bring new revolution in the sugar level detection. In the initial stage, invasive methods are used which can be banded by non-invasive methods like patch methods, ray passing methods etc. In this method, we use thermal images to detect the sugar level which makes the sugar patients free from fringe pricking method. Initially only the near infrared rays are used to detect the sugar level, in this we use middle infrared rays because it gives accurate result than using near infrared rays. The idea presented here is only the outline of the concept, showing that it is possible that the glucose can be measured using the thermal image.

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Introduction of a new patch analyzing sweat to detect blood sugar levels. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2021, from
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