Glucose molecules dance on the sensor surface, and changes in light intensity transmitted through the slit of each plasmonic interferometer provide information about the concentration of glucose molecules.
(Credit: Domenico Pacifici)
Glucose levels are 100 times more concentrated in blood than in saliva, which is why in spite of many efforts to use saliva, diabetics are still pricking themselves to get accurate glucose readings.
But now, harnessing the power of nanotechnology, engineers at Brown University say they've designed a biochip that can measure glucose levels in saliva almost as accurately as current devices can measure levels in blood.
To do this, the engineers etched a complicated array of thousands of plasmonic interferometers (no, this is not an episode of Farscape) onto a fingernail-size biochip. This means they were essentially using nano-scale slits and grooves to capture and then scatter incoming photons; they then observed the resulting interplay of light waves and changes in intensity to detect the concentration of a specific chemical--in this case glucose.
By combining nanotechnology with surface plasmonics, the team has built a sensor capable of measuring more than just glucose levels. The researchers, who have published their proof-of-concept ... [Read more]
(Via Crave: The gadget blog.)