By providing a more comfortable and convenient glucose testing experience, non-invasive, wearable biosensors could bolster patients’ engagement with their diabetes mellitus (DM). We investigated the accuracy and acceptability of a novel, needle-free continuous glucose sensor.

At 2 g and 5 x 4 mm, this sensor is ultra-light, thin, flexible, and self-adherent to the skin. A mild electrical current applied to the epidermis causes sodium ions, then interstitial fluid (ISF) glucose molecules, to migrate toward an electrode. The sensor gauges glucose by detecting its electrical charge strength. Four individuals with DM participated (age 42-61 years, mean 51.5 years; 1 patient with type 1 DM). Over 4 hours, we obtained 3 sensor and 3 glucometer readings concurrently at each of the following time points: following an 8-hour fast, and every 60 minutes after a standard 500-kcal, 75-g high-carbohydrate meal.

The correlation coefficient of sensor and glucometer readings was 0.80 (p = 0.00023). Participants rated on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the highest: 4.25 for comfort, and 4.0 for being receptive to long-term use of such a sensor. Two individuals denied discomfort; 1 felt tingling; and 1 noted a needle-like sensation.

The function and patient-friendly design of a wearable glucose sensor may help substantially advance glucose testing, and in turn, improve clinical outcomes and quality of life.


E. Chao: None. E. De La Paz Andres: None. A. Barfidokht: None. J. Wang: None.


University of California, San Diego; National Institutes of Health (UL1TR001442)

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