Let’s Test the Sugar in Your Sweat

Measures glucose in perspiration instead of glucose in blood

| Jun 1, 2006

A noninvasive meter that measures glucose in perspiration instead of glucose in blood is being developed.

VivoMedical, Inc., of Cupertino, California, has conducted preliminary clinical studies on humans to establish the correlation between the glucose in sweat and glucose in blood.

“The results are encouraging,” CEO Robert Blair tells me. “We are targeting the replacement of the blood-stick with a skin patch and a reader.”

VivoMedical is only two years old. But the company began in 2000 as MedOptix Inc.

“We founded MedOptix to detect glucose on the skin surface with an optical detector,” Blair says. “But we concluded that the question of its glucose specificity is a huge hurdle.”

While spectroscopy is sensitive, it’s not glucose-specific enough, Blair says. You might think that you are looking at the desired glucose signal, but it might just be an artifact, giving an erroneous reading.

I asked him how they were able to shift gears. “We were always looking at sweat on the skin surface, and that wasn’t a shift,” he says. “What has changed is the sensor technology. We concluded that we couldn’t detect glucose unambiguously with an optical sensor, but we can with a glucose-oxidize electrochemical sensor—the same chemistry that the bloodstick uses.”

The patent application describes a patch the size of a Band-Aid placed on the skin. The planned application site is the palm or a finger, because these areas have a high density of sweat glands and are convenient for the user. After testing, the patch will simply be discarded.

Blair hopes to price the VivoPatch competitively with test strips. The VivoReader should likewise be priced about the same as blood glucose meters, when produced in volume.

The old saying has it that “laborers sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies glow.” But everybody sweats at least a little, because it is part of the body’s thermal management system, says VivoMedical’s chief scientist Russell Potts.

For decades, scientists have known there is glucose in sweat, he says. “The trick is to correlate it with blood glucose. That is pretty much what we have figured out.”

For more information, log on to www.vivomedical.com.

The Glucose Market Wheel

You can divide all of the existing and forthcoming blood glucose-monitoring systems into those that are invasive and those that are noninvasive. And then you can divide those two groups into those that use glucose-specific detector technology and those that are working with glucose nonspecific detector technology. That gives you what VivoMedical’s Robert Blair calls a “market glucose wheel.”

Blair says that all glucose monitors fall into one of these four quadrants. “As far as we can determine, VivoMedical is the only company in that sector of the glucose wheel that is both noninvasive and glucose specific,” he says. “VivoMedical therefore appears to be unique in its approach of using glucose in sweat as the surrogate for blood, together with using an approved chemistry as the sensor technology for glucose.”

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Glucose, Meters

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 7 August 2008

I like the idea of testing the sweat glands. Right now I test my forearm and people have said that my arms look so bruised that I look like I am taking drugs.

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.