A Syracuse University chemistry professor has patented a device that aims to make painful fingerstick testing of glucose levels a thing of the past for diabetics.
To address the problems of invasive blood glucose testing, Professor Joseph Chaiken, of the Department of Chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences, has developed the LighTouch, which accurately monitors glucose levels without a single drop of blood.
The novel procedure uses a laser to measure spectroscopic signals in blood while the blood is still in the capillaries. Abnormal levels of blood components, such as glucose, can be detected without pricking a person’s finger.
The LighTouch uses a method called Raman spectroscopy to focus a laser – which Chaiken refers to as a “CD-player type of laser that has been kicked up a notch to deliver a purer red color,” – onto the fingertip and analyze the various colors of the light exiting the finger.
These colors are indicative of the types and quantities of the different chemicals in the tissue being illuminated by the laser. By making two such measurements, first with the fingertip under no pressure and the second with slight pressure applied to the flesh, researchers are able to compare the measurements and analyze only those colors that come from the part of the fingertip which moves under slight pressure – the blood.
The procedure is completely painless and produces results with accuracy and precision comparable to existing fingerstick devices.