• Home  / 
  • Featured
  •  /  Gold-Filled Graphene Patch Helps With Diabetes

Gold-Filled Graphene Patch Helps With Diabetes

Taking the special properties of the carbon based material graphene – light, transparent, strong – with the additional electrochemical properties of gold, researchers have produced a skin patch for the treatment of diabetes.

The patch provides an alternative treatment option to injections. The patch is electronic and it is configured to sense excess glucose in sweat. On detection, the patch automatically delivers anti-diabetes drugs (insulin or metformin) to the body. This happens through heating up microneedles that penetrate the skin.

The patch is composed of graphene studded with gold particles, as well as special sensors designed to detect humidity, glucose, pH, and temperature. If the pH and temperature hit a trigger, then enzymes in the sensor can assess glucose levels. When glucose levels cross a threshold, the needles are triggered and the drug is released just beneath the surface of the skin.

The official name for the device is a “closed-loop epidermal system.” By having electronic components, the device is able to store data on the delivery of the drug, providing data that can be used to analyse the health of the patient. Data could be collected via a table through wireless technology.

The patch was developed by scientists working at the Seoul National University. The research is described in a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The research is titled “A graphene-based electrochemical device with thermoresponsive microneedles for diabetes monitoring and therapy.”

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.