"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Implants, tattoos and tears can measure blood sugar painlessly.

My fingers hate diabetes. Several times a day they’re pierced with a pointy, needle-like spear. The drops of blood they leave tell me what my blood sugar roller coaster is like. This is admittedly vital information that I would like to find out whether to eat, exercise, or give myself some insulin.

One such behavior could be to ascertain your blood sugar (glucose) by pricking your finger, squeezing a drop of blood and placing it on a small test strip attached to the meter. Help could also be on the way in which — though I don't expect any major breakthroughs for a couple of more years — as researchers across the country search for no-prick ways to measure blood sugar.

Here are three interesting methods.

An implantable sensor. Researchers on the University of California, San Diego have developed a quarter-diameter titanium sensor that’s implanted under the skin. “It takes about a minute to place the sensor in the abdomen or under the collarbone,” says lead developer David A. Gow. It constantly measures blood glucose and sends the knowledge wirelessly to an information receiver worn on a belt or carried in a pocket. I Tests in pigs, the sensor worked for greater than a 12 months. The technology is now being tested in a small clinical trial on humans. If it proves secure, a bigger trial will examine whether it’s an efficient alternative to current blood sugar monitors.

Glucose Sensing Tattoo. Ultra-tiny beads originally designed to detect glucose in cell cultures may someday do the identical in humans. Heather A. Clark and her colleagues at Northeastern University are experimenting. Implantation of glucose-detecting nanosensors under the skin. Shining light of a certain wavelength on this functional tattoo illuminates it. The amount of sunshine the tattoo emits corresponds to the quantity of glucose within the fluid surrounding the sensor. The group has already developed a lightweight and optical filter that works with the iPhone, and is within the means of making a data-processing app that can turn the iPhone right into a blood sugar meter. MIT researchers are working on an identical form of tattoo. Small carbon tubes Wrap around a glucose sensitive material.

The Tear Test. The eyes, they are saying, are the windows to the soul. If Arizona State University researchers successfully develop them. TouchTears device, the eyes may even be the window of blood sugar. The device has a wick manufactured from highly absorbent gel that you simply touch to the white of the attention for a second. It captures a small amount of tear fluid and delivers it to a sensor that measures the glucose concentration. Lead researcher Jeffrey T. LaBelle and his colleagues have collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to develop and test tear glucose monitoring technology. Researchers on the University of Michigan are also working on methods. Detect glucose in tears..

For many individuals with diabetes, especially those that take insulin, accurate blood sugar readings are absolutely essential to securely control the disease. Any recent method have to be no less than as accurate and reliable as measuring glucose in a drop of blood. All of the researchers I spoke with cautioned that achieving this standard would take years of development and testing of their approaches. I'm crossing my fingers that one or all of them succeed.