New ‘bloodless’ patch for diabetics could end the need for finger-prick tests

Researchers from the University of Bath have created a non-invasive, adhesive patch, which can measure glucose levels through the skin without a finger-prick blood test, potentially removing the need for millions of diabetics to frequently carry out the painful and unpopular tests.

The patch does not pierce the skin, instead drawing glucose out from fluid between cells across hair follicles, which are individually accessed via an array of miniature sensors using a small electric current. Readings can be taken every 10 to 15 minutes over several hours.

Because of the design of the array of sensors and reservoirs, the patch does not require calibration with a blood sample, meaning that finger prick blood tests are unnecessary.

The proof of the concept behind the device has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The researchers hope that it can eventually become a low-cost, wearable sensor that sends regular, clinically relevant glucose measurements to the wearer’s phone or smartwatch wirelessly, alerting them when they may need to take action.

Professor Richard Guy, one of the study’s co-authors, said: ‘A non-invasive – that is, needle-less – method to monitor blood sugar has proven a difficult goal to attain. The closest that has been achieved has required either at least a single-point calibration with a classic ‘finger-stick’, or the implantation of a pre-calibrated sensor via a single needle insertion. The monitor developed at Bath promises a truly calibration-free approach, an essential contribution in the fight to combat the ever-increasing global incidence of diabetes.’

During this study the patch was tested on both pig skin, where they showed it could accurately track glucose levels across the range seen in diabetic human patients, and on healthy human volunteers, where again the patch was able to track blood sugar variations throughout the day.


  • Linda

    Awesome tests. I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2017. I started the some diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. Then I found Lisa’s diabetes story (google ” How I freed myself from diabetes ” ) I read that article from end to end because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next week my blood sugar was down to 100 and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just three week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 16 pounds and 3+ inches around my waist in a month. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods

  • johnfragmente

    I see a lot of news about automated testing and potential cures for Diabetes. But, after 35+ years of being Type 1, I’m still doing the same thing as I did I did as a nipper – stab your belly, prick your finger, watch your diet. Is this stuff ever going to be released?

  • Kundenservice Anfrage

    Needleness to say, this is a brilliant invention.