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Temporary Tattoo Instead Of Finger Prick For Diabetics

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.

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 May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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