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Temporary Tattoo Instead Of Finger Prick For Diabetics

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Temporary Tattoo Instead Of Finger Prick For Diabetics

Diabetics may not have to prick their fingers with a needle to monitor their glucose levels in the near future. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have discovered a way to test and monitor glucose levels by using a small, stick-on temporary tattoo.

Globally, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. Moreover, 1 out of 4 people do not know they have the disease. This is why the recent scientific advancement and discovery will be a most welcome change for existing and future diabetics.

Currently, diabetics manage this most unfortunate condition by painfully getting blood samples from their fingers. Diabetics use the traditional method of monitoring their glucose levels to prevent problems associated with diabetes by sticking their fingers with a small needle multiple times throughout the day.

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Diabetics Welcome This New Discovery

Recently, a University of California, San Diego graduate student named Amay Bandodkar created an electronic device, which has the potential of replacing the traditional methods of monitoring glucose levels in diabetics. This innovative device is made up of an electronic sensor, with interwoven electrodes printed on tattoo paper.

The way it works is quite extraordinary. Diabetics can simply place the temporary tattoo on their arm and the device measures the patient’s glucose levels continuously throughout the day.

Creator Amay Bandodkar provided EurekAlert more information about his new invention.

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“The readout instrument will also eventually have Bluetooth capabilities to send this information directly to the patient’s doctor in real-time or store data in the cloud.”

He added, “Presently the tattoo sensor can easily survive for a day. These are extremely inexpensive, a few cents, and hence can be replaced without much financial burden on the patient.”

Bandodkar and a team of nanoengineers at the university developed and tested this amazing device in Professor Joseph Wang’s laboratory at the NanoEngineering Department and the Center for Wearable Sensors at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. The team was able to provide documented evidence that the electronic sensor will function as intended and work at measuring glucose levels.

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Researchers at the university performed an early trial on seven men and women between the ages of 20 and 40. The participants were not diabetics; however, the test results revealed the temporary tattoo was just as accurate as a finger-prick test. Additionally, the volunteers reported they hardly felt anything while wearing the device; they only felt a mild tingling sensation for about 10 seconds.

How The Tattoo Works At Managing Diabetes

The researchers developed the device to apply a very gentle electric current to the skin for about 10 minutes. Sodium ions that carry glucose are located in the fluid between skin cells. Glucose is drawn out and flows to the temporary rub-on tattoo. An electronic sensor in the tattoo measures an electrical charge produced by the glucose.

Professor Wang and the team published their study in the journal of Analytical Chemistry. Bandodkar explained more about the flexible device for diabetics.

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“The concentration of glucose extracted by the non-invasive tattoo device is almost hundred times lower than the corresponding level in the human blood. Thus we had to develop a highly sensitive glucose sensor that could detect such low levels of glucose with high selectivity.”

Currently, the tattoo for diabetics does not provide a numerical reading; however, scientists are working on developing a way to provide a numeric readout. They are also working on developing an application that is capable of sending information of diabetics in real time using Bluetooth technology.

According to the researchers, the tattoo could be used to measure other important chemicals such as lactate, a metabolite analyzed in athletes to monitor their fitness. This device may also be used to detect illegal drug or alcohol consumption, or to test how well medication is working.

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Costing a few pennies and a less painful alternative for managing diabetes, this discreet and non-invasive device is a most welcome advancement for diabetics.

Featured photo credit: University of California, San Diego via media.gotraffic.net

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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