New Technology: Early Detection of Type 1 Diabetes

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Researchers in Australia are developing early detection technology for type 1 diabetes that can accurately predict if a child is at risk of the chronic disease using new technology.

Currently, there is no early detection of type 1 diabetes.  That’s where researchers from RMIT University and the University of Sydney come into play.

They are developing a detection kit that could one day be used as a standard test for newborns.

The hope is that early detection of high-risk patients could delay or prevent the onset of the lifelong disease.

To do this, the team combined lab-on-a-chip technologies with a breakthrough discovery on insulin-producing beta cells.

“The detection kit we’re developing is cost-effective and simple to use, requiring no specialist technical knowledge or expensive analysis,” says Vipul Bansal, director of the Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility at RMIT in a news release.

“Being able to detect this disease well before it has a chance to progress would be life-changing for the 2400 Australians diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year,” he adds.

The new technology uses a microchip and sensor to detect markers in the blood that can pinpoint the early loss of beta cells.

Beta cells in the pancreas are the body’s only way of making insulin.  It is the hormone that regulates sugar which type 1 diabetes patients cannot produce.

In the next phase of the research, engineers plan to expand the sensor’s capabilities and miniaturize it onto a tiny microfluidic chip.

Image Source: RMIT University.