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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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