Common Smartphone Magnetometers Can Now Detect Glucose and PH Levels

Detecting blood sugar levels without a finger prick is a technology developed by Apple and Samsung in the hope that it could be used in smartwatches. This technology is believed to be getting closer to becoming a reality but requires new sensors to be developed. A group of scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States has successfully detected glucose and PH levels using a common smartphone magnetometer.

Every smartphone is equipped with a magnetometer that is used by the compass application. Researchers found that this magnetometer is sensitive enough to detect small changes in the magnetic field. Therefore they produced a measuring device consisting of two layers of hydrogel containing magnetic particles.

This hydrogel will react when detecting the presence of glucose and changes in the level of liquid PC placed on it. This change in magnetic particles is then detected by a magnetometer that has been calibrated to provide glucose and PH readings with high accuracy.

The researchers saw that their device could be used to measure glucose levels in the body using saliva by diabetic patients. It can also be used to measure acid levels in water for the purpose of detecting pollution.

This measurement tool of their invention is still in the testing stage and is not yet ready to be offered to the public. It however opens up the opportunity to detect sugar in blood without pricking a finger and also a pollution measurement device that is cheaper than existing machines. Researchers also found that when detecting the PH level of a liquid, their device has the same accuracy as a machine that costs thousands of dollars.

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