Scientists create innovative method to monitor blood sugar levels with smartphone technology

Revolutionizing Healthcare: Using Magnetometers on Cell Phones to Detect Glucose Concentrations

Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that its researchers have developed a new technique to measure glucose concentrations in blood using a magnetometer found on regular cell phones. Most modern cell phones are equipped with this sensor for navigation purposes, but researchers have discovered that it can also be used to detect various molecules and biomarkers in blood.

In a proof of concept study, the NIST team attached a small well containing a solution (instead of blood) and a strip of hydrogel to a cell phone. The hydrogel, which is porous and expands in water, was embedded with tiny magnetic particles that react to glucose concentrations or pH levels by expanding or contracting. By measuring the movement of these magnetic particles near the magnetometer in the cell phone, researchers were able to accurately measure glucose concentrations in the solution.

The NIST team stated that these smart hydrogels are affordable and easy to produce. In the future, they could be sold as inexpensive test kits that can be attached to a cell phone for glucose monitoring. This technology, which is based solely on a smartphone’s capabilities, offers a low-cost alternative to current testing methods. The study results were recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

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