Fluorescent glucose monitoring

Old article but started reading through the papers its from. It's a subcutaneous injection of a hydrogel fiber that will fluoresce when glucose levels are high. 

Heres the paper.

One could even make a reactive tattoo that glows after you eat. If the design was simple enough anyway. Great for diabetics too.


  • Interesting reading, just two things that you should note:

    "and continuously responded to blood glucose concentration changes for up to 140 days"

    "three of four PEG-bonded PAM hydrogel fibers induced only mild inflammation"

    That doesn't sound as long-term and biocompatible as they want it to be seen.

    Anyway, I think fluorescent implants is something people with enough knowledge should look into, maybe just simple glowing implants that charge with sunlight and glow by night are possible? Also the article seems to contain informations about light under the skin nobody developing such implants thought about, like photobleaching, skin radiation damage, cancer development...
  • Ah, you missed the next part where they mention recovery after inflammation. So basically they are saying there was inflammation, and it went down. PEG/PAM is actually a fairly decent hydrogel, and I would think that the diblock probably reduces some of the issues that happen from straight PEG exposure.  It actually looks like just a PAM hydrogel works too tho not as well. 

    It also looks like 140 was how long they tested it, but they didn't test it to failure so it is likely able to work much longer.

    More importantly, they are using fluoresce in the science-y way, which means uv light responsive. Fig 1. So this means this would not glow under normal conditions but you'd look awesome at a rave.
  • I figured about most of that, just wanted to check. But now the question, can we use the same technology for something else? Like use the same hydrogel and use a different compound for detection? Could open up a whole new avenue for implants. Maybe even make our glow properly :P
  • Well, if you could find a compound that fluoresces different colors in sync with your circadian rhythm, you might have a viable concept for a watch tattoo.
  • lets just use the word glow here so people understand that fluorescing requires a black light.

    My main concern is that anything that is chemical that is giving of visible light may be giving off other things you don't want...
  • so the chemistry will have to be rather complex to make something glow and not kill you. My initial thought was using a platinum based complex. They already use platinum on chips to break down glucose and power small electronics. We'd need something that could take the energy and release it as light.
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