Professor Paul Dastoor explained that he and his research team had developed paint with semi-conducting particles and this enabled them to download electronic designs that could be cheaply printed from an ink-jet printer onto a slip of plastic.
‘‘On this principle we have developed a saliva-based test of glucose levels for diabetic patients using a reel-to-reel printer, potentially making blood tests a thing of the past,’’ he said.
‘‘We print electrical components using an ink that is a semi-conductor, mixing in the enzyme which will detect the presence and level of glucose when a diabetic places a sample of saliva on the test.’’
By 2020 it is predicted there will be 500 million people with diabetes.
The usual way of testing for glucose relies on a finger prick to draw blood for testing, however many diabetics find needles unpleasant and can be tempted to avoid measuring their levels as often as they should.
‘‘The creation of the non-invasive test for diabetes has been described as the Holy Grail in diabetes research for decades,’’ Professor Dastoor said.
Each individual test is estimated to cost less than 1¢ to create and Professor Dastoor said he and his
He said one possibility was for people to buy a cartridge with the special ink and print their own tests from an ink-jet printer at home.
Professor Dastoor said eventually, as they made more advancements, it could be possible for a person to lick the device, which would then send their glucose reading to their mobile phone.
Professor Dastoor said their patented innovation, which took eight years to develop, had many other potential medical purposes.
He said they were looking at developing a test for stress by sampling a person’s sweat.
Source: Newcastle Herald 11/03/2015 & Photo