Type 1 diabetes is a devastating autoimmune disease caused by the destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which negates the body's ability to produce insulin. Mitigating the harmful effects of this disease involves painful finger pricking. This is currently the only FDA-approved method of monitoring glucose levels for diabetes and, thus the only practical option for treating one's diabetes.
For our project, we conceived a convenient and discreet device that effectively resolves the negatives of pricking one's finger to obtain blood sugar levels. Our concept consists of a square patch of micro needles smal enough to fit on a person's wrist. Situated above those micro needles is a special kind of ink that reacts with glucose and indicates glucose concentration. We focused on integrating the glucose-sensitive ink into the patch so that it would inform the user of their glucose levels when scanned by a camera phone. Using a program called the "MITAppInventor", we constructed a fully funcitonal app that allows us to test our concept. We determined the app's effectiveness through a test run by inputting simulated numbers, data that a diabetic would theoretically acquire from the ink from the diabetes patch. The data would be compared in the app, illustrating the differences between their current glucose levels and their normal glucose levels.
Future work may focus on developing a more efficient method of relaying information about glucose levels to the use device. An electronic substitute for the glucose-reacting ink may also help the user process the data faster.
(Left to right) Terry Ton, Brandon Oppong-Antwi, and Erica Bhadra worked on making a discreet glucose monitoring system and insulin delivery system to aid type 1 diabetics in their daily lives. They demonstrated a working app that is able to quantify glucose levels based on the color of a patch designed to deliver insulin.
Click here to see the group's poster.