Glucose Concentration in Living Body Measured With Electromagnetic Waves

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) developed a sensor that estimates the concentration of glucose in a living body by using electromagnetic waves.

The company exhibited s prototype of the sensor at International Modern Hospital Show 2019, a trade show that took place in Japan.

Unlike existing methods to measure glucose concentration, the new method realizes non-invasive measurement.

Glucose seeps not only into blood vessels but also into interstitial fluid near skin. Therefore, it is believed that glucose concentration in blood is correlated with glucose concentration in interstitial fluid.

The sensor developed by NTT estimates glucose concentration in interstitial fluid by
(1) irradiating skin with electromagnetic waves with frequencies that are absorbed by glucose components and (2) analyzing reflected signals.

In NTT’s booth at the trade show, the company demonstrated that the intensity of reflected waves changes in accordance with glucose concentration by making a probe contact a specimen. Glucose concentration is estimated by analyzing the change.

NTT plans to realize new services for health management and disease prevention by licensing the technology. For example, if the new sensor is employed for a wearable device, it becomes possible to visualize time variation in the estimated value of glucose concentration.

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