GlycoGum: An Affordable Noninvasive Rapid Diabetes Diagnostic Gum

Charlie Chandsawangbhuwana
PhD Candidate Department of Bioengineering University of California, San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive La Jolla, CA 92093-0435

Jonathan Kuo
PhD Candidate Department of Biomedical Engineering University of Southern California 1042 Downey Way Los Angeles, CA 90089-1111

Abstract A novel diagnostic tool is proposed that vastly improves the screening test for diabetes. This design consists of a chewing gum that changes color based on whether the patient is healthy, prediabetic, or diabetic. This diagnostic tool will be: (1) easy to use, only requiring the patient to chew a piece of gum; (2) quick, giving a diagnostic after only a minute of chewing; (3) affordable, requiring no specialized equipment for testing.

production or an ineffective use of insulin1. Over time, if left untreated, severed consequences may occur such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, limb amputation, kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke1. It is estimated that there are more than 5 million people in the US alone who have diabetes and are unaware of it2. The traditional method of diabetes screening is a standard blood test. This is typically done after the physician has determined that the patient is at risk for diabetes. However, this will miss diabetics who for financial or other reasons do not go see a physician. Also, for healthcare in developing countries there is no guarantee that the patient will be able to do a blood test due to the lack of testing equipment. A chewing gum that serves as a diagnostic tool will address these issues by being affordable and easy to use. Most importantly, the avoidance of drawing blood and the accompanying pain will increase the acceptance of diabetic screening amongst patients. The

Figure 1: Design use; the patient is diagnosed depending on the color of the gum.

Introduction Afflicting over 180 million people worldwide, diabetes is a chronic disease that is caused by a lack of insulin

affordability and ability to do self-testing at home much like pregnancy kits will allow those who have family histories of diabetes to vigilantly monitor their status without the need to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Consequently, the advantages of early detection of diabetes will be fully realized and the potential damage to the body from uncontrolled diabetes will be avoided. Design A design is proposed that will easily diagnose diabetes to treat the disease at an early stage before having it fully develop its adverse consequences. This design will consist of four main components: (1) Glucose Oxidase (GOx) – This enzyme will be the primary glucose sensor which will reduce oxygen into hydrogen peroxide proportional to the glucose detected (2) Horseradish Peroxidase (HRP) – This enzyme will be biochemically conjugated to the GOx. The hydrogen peroxide produced by the GOx will be used by the HRP to act onto a color changing substrate. (3) 3,3’,5,5’-Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) – This chemical will be the substrate for the HRP and change color from white to blue proportional to the activity of HRP (4) Gum base – A butadiene derived polymer matrix will provide structure where the GOx, HRP, and TMB will be immobilized. Based off of the intensity in color of the chewed gum, an estimate of the salivary glucose level can be determined and the patient will be informed of being healthy, pre-diabetic, or diabetic. If the patient were diagnosed as pre-diabetic or diabetic, a doctor’s visit would be

Figure 2: Overview of the detection design

suggested diabetes.

to

obtain

treatment

for

This design will easily diagnose and inform patients whether they have diabetes or not without the need to wait until they have developed the symptoms associated with diabetes. It has the potential to dramatically improve healthcare for those without regular access to doctors, people living in developing countries, and people who do not recognize the symptoms of diabetes. Conclusions The goal of this diagnostic tool would be to improve the welfare of patients by painlessly and quickly informing them early if they have diabetes so they can seek appropriate healthcare early and so avoid the complications associated with untreated diabetes. References
World Health Organization http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312 /en/index.html National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM/PUBS/statistics /#allages
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