Eliminating the prick from glucose testing

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UW engineering student Shahid Haider was the recent recipient of the 2014 Norman Edmund Inspirational Award for his research into a painless and non-invasive method for reading the blood glucose levels of Type 1 diabetics. Haider&rsquo;s research outlines a portable eye-scanning device that would replace the current method, which requires the painful prick of a finger.&nbsp;</p>

Haider’s device determines the blood glucose level of an individual by photographing the thin, lubricating, and nutrition-carrying solution in eyes called the “aqueous humor.” In lieu of an available blood supply, the central corneas and crystalline lenses in the human eye are instead supplied glucose by the humor, which carries a concentration representative of the body’s total blood glucose levels. Unlike other painless tests such as urine tests, the device can measure both excesses and deficiencies of glucose (hyper- and hypoglycemia, respectively) making it a viable alternative to current blood tests. 

No more bloody pricks! (Photo courtesy flickr.com/v1ctor)

The condition or affliction of diabetes is one that requires careful monitoring of blood sugar levels: right now, the patient must draw a small amount of blood for analysis up to four times a day. For the young and sensitive, this can bring about inconvenience and distress.

“By eliminating any pain associated with diabetes testing, this device has the direct potential to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with diabetes, including reducing the risk of eye, kidney, and heart damage,” Edmunds Optics stated in a press release.

Each year, Edmund Optics grants their Educational Awards to 45 optics researchers around the world. Of the 45 winners, Haider was uniquely recognized for the Edmund Inspirational Award for work that “best embodies the legacy of [Edmund Optics founder] Mr. Edmund.” 

Kirsten Bjork-Jones, director of global marketing communications at Edmund Optics, pointed out that Hadir’s research is especially encouraging in aiding children dealing with the debilitating side effects of diabetes. The inspirational award comes with a $5,000 rebate with the company

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