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Lab-on-a-Chip measures insulin level for Type 2 diabetes

Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase, from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury (UC) College of Engineering, is working on world-first insulin sensor technology to enable ‘right now’ measurement for patients managing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It happens when blood sugar levels rise due to problems with the use or production of insulin.

According to a recent press release, the development of insulin measurement technology will allow doctors and patients to make better informed decisions on treatment immediately.

The Problem

People can find their blood sugar level from the well-known finger stick test and a glucometer. However, insulin can currently only be measured in a lab.

Point-of-Care insulin testing is difficult because there is no known chemical reaction to test for. Unlike glucose, insulin has no polarised charge.

It does not carry voltage or respond to magnetic fields, radio frequency or microwaves. Thus, it is something of a “stealth” molecule in terms of detection.

The Distinguished Professor is working with the Director of the University’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre; a postdoctoral fellow from Electrical and Computer Engineering; and a Mechanical Engineering Senior Lecturer.

The Solution

They are working together to develop Lab-on-a-Chip technology using micro-fluidics, specialised bio-receptors, and novel micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) technology modelling to detect insulin in a sample fluid.

The fixed volume of the liquid will stick to the microchip allowing the rest to run off.

This changes the mass and thickness of the MEMS array elements which in turn lets them ‘see’ that mass of insulin by the way it changes the dynamic properties of the MEMS device arrays.

The project is funded by the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation.

Finding a key measurement of insulin in the body at Point-of-Care is part of a suite of technologies being developed for the management of type 2 diabetes.

Currently, insulin measurement requires lab processing of a blood sample, which takes 1-3 days for a result.

The process and delay makes the test only beneficial to initially diagnose type 2 diabetes, and not for managing continued care.

Not knowing the insulin levels leads the patients to guess. They tend to run into problems and will often give up on treatment because the risk of injecting too much insulin is too high.

With this sensor, the patient will be able to know their insulin level and safely dose, reducing that risk.

Distinguished Professor Chase has 19 years’ experience working with medical practitioners. He likes the opportunity of seeing the work he does to broadly have an impact.

The ultimate accolade is to see something get taken up and see the science applied to human benefit.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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