Tear drops may replace blood drops in testing blood sugar in diabetes

Scientists are reporting development and successful laboratory testing of an electrochemical sensor device that has the potential to measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood—an advance that could save the world’s 350 million diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood sugar tests.

The report, which appears in the American Chemical Society’s journal Analytical Chemistry, suggests that it is possible to measure tear glucose levels multiple times per day to monitor blood glucose changes without the potential pain from the repeated invasive blood drawing method.

About 5 percent of the world’s population has diabetes, according to the report. The disease is a fast-growing public health problem because of a sharp global increase in obesity, which makes people susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes.

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