Sparking New Technology

Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been awarded a $75,000 grant to begin developing a noninvasive device for measuring blood glucose from the eye, as part of a system that could simulate pancreatic function.

Implanted in eyeglass frames, the device would indirectly measure a person’s blood-glucose level from eye fluid, eliminating the need for fingerstick testing. Then the device would signal the release of insulin from a pump, with the complete system in effect acting as an artificial pancreas, according to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“Our goal is to develop something that will help people with diabetes,” says Gordon Thomas, PhD, professor of physics and biomedical engineering and the project’s lead researcher.

Thomas and colleagues, who received the funding from the Pfeiffer Research Foundation, are expected to produce preliminary results by next year.

But Thomas points out that starting from scratch, so to speak, with a new technology requires a long process before the device might become available.

“Developing something new takes at least a few years,” he says. “We’re very hopeful that we’ll get it done.”

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