Glucose Level Tests with Fluid Under the Skin

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By: Miranda Schwartz

Looking for a bloodless, painless way to test for glucose levels, researchers have turned to the skin. Between the layers of skin is a fluid called dermal interstitial fluid (ISF) that, according to a report in September’s Diabetes Care, contains enough glucose to be an accurate measure of BGs.

Success in previous experiments with dogs has encouraged ongoing research. In dogs, concentrations of glucose in subcutaneous fluid collected via a technique designed just for experimental settings was almost identical to plasma glucose concentration.

F. John Service, MD, PhD, Peter O’Brien, PhD, et al. report their findings from experiments with people in which they compared venous, capillary and interstitial fluid samples for glucose concentrations. They feel that the concentrations of glucose that were successfully analyzed closely reflect blood glucose levels and capillary glucose measurements.

Clinical trials are being planned for portable handheld devices that can sample and measure ISF.

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