Thammasat researchers create smart sensors to measure accumulated sugar levels

Smart sensor to measure blood glucose levels (MyA1c) was developed by Prof. Dr. Kesara Na Bangchang, professor at Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University and the research team. This innovation was initiated to diagnose diabetes, and to assess and control treatment in patients with diabetes (Point-of-Care test).

Measurement of blood sugar levels, which is glucose that binds to the red blood cells (Hemoglobin A1c: HbA1c), in that the measurement value is stable, showing the average amount of blood sugar over a period of 2 to 3 months without being affected by various factors, especially food. It is similar to measuring blood glucose levels. This is the standard method currently used to diagnose and control diabetes in which patients must refrain from food 8 to 12 hours before the examination.

Commonly, the standard methods for measuring HbA1c levels require analysis. only in the laboratory by complex tools, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography which is expensive and requires a large amount of blood, as well as takes a long time to analyze. Patients will need to be examined at a specific hospital or laboratory, and are needed to wait for the results for about 1 day, which is inconvenient in practice.

The developed test kit is designed to be easy to use, convenient, giving immediate results, accurate, precise and highly specific. It is capable of measuring hemoglobin levels in the blood together with HbA1c levels at a low price and cost-effectiveness. The kit uses only 20 microliters of blood drawn from a fingertip in which diabetic patients can regularly check their HbA1c levels at home to provide information to physicians for treatment, giving immediate test results within 30 seconds.

The examination was based on the principle of specific HbA1c conductivity measurements and high sensitivity with a sensor connected to an electrode made of carbon tube coated with gold nanoparticles prepared from the peel of passion fruit (Green chemistry), which is the part that are not needed and must be disposed of to replace the use of conventional chemical synthesis processes that require toxic chemicals.

The cost of the examination is very low compared to the same type of test kit that sells a whole unit specifically for detecting HbA1c, which costs from 5,000-12,000 Thai baht. It has been developed to be able to apply to various kinds of examinations using the same tool in the form of a smartphone used in the daily life of the user and only downloading a specific application for testing.

Users can purchase only an electrical signal detector that costs no more than 300 Thai baht which can be used at least 500 times, and an electrode (electrode: blue.o4kr) that is specific to measuring HbA1c, costing about 10 Thai baht, one-time use and a drop of blood from the fingertip to test. In addition, the advantage of smart sensors is that in the future, users will also be able to download applications for other tests developed by the researchers using the same mobile phone as a platform, for example: such as screening for kidney disease (Microalbumin), Tumor markers examination of various types of cancer, Dementia examination and the detection of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, etc.

The smart sensor for measuring blood glucose levels (MyA1c) was awarded a gold medal and Honorary Gold Medal, Gold Medal Award with the Congratulations of the Jury from the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva.

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