London- Chinese researchers said yesterday they have developed a system that, for the first time, enables smartphones to remotely manage and treat diabetes in mice.
In a study published in the United States-based journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers said they developed a smartphone app and used it to command engineered cells to produce insulin that helps diabetic mice achieve and maintain stable blood sugar levels within two hours.
For the study, the researchers first created cells that produced insulin when illuminated by far-red light, the same wavelengths emitted by therapy bulbs and infrared saunas.
Then, they added the cells to a soft biocompatible sheath that also contained wirelessly-powered red LED lights to create HydrogeLEDs that could be turned on and off by an external command.
In a small pilot experiment, the system also involved a control box called SmartController that communicates with the smartphone via the global GSM network and executes commands to turn on the HydrogeLEDs.
The scientists also paired the system with a Bluetooth-enabled glucometer, which allowed remote transmission of glycemic values to the smartphone for analysis.
When the measurements exceeded a pre-set threshold, the smartphone will signal the SmartController to turn on the HydrogeLEDs to enable insulin production.
The scientists said they tested their system for several weeks and succeeded in securing steady levels of insulin, adding that the system could provide diabetes treatment based on modern technologies.