Early Detection of Hypoglycaemia in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) via Graphene-Based Wearable Electronic Textiles

UWE funded project

Nazmul Karim, Associate Professor – CFPR, UWE
Aniko Varadi, Professor and Director – CRIB, UWE
Alex Yue, Senior Lecturer (Bio-Instrumentation) – FET, UWE

Dates: 1/9/20-31/7/21

The project aims to develop wearable, flexible and machine washable electronic textiles that can continuously detect low glucose levels (i.e. hypoglycaemia) in people with diabetes via electrocardiogram (ECG) signals in a non-invasive way.  Early detection of hypoglycaemia is essential as it could lead to a medical emergency such as coma or death.

Highly conductive graphene-based inks will be developed and printed onto textiles. For heart monitoring, the printed graphene textiles will then be attached to human body and a ECG recording unit. The recorded heart rate data will be transferred to a mobile applications software via Bluetooth in a non-invasive way. It will then be compared with standard ECG device to enable a robust, reliable and truly wearable ECG device based on graphene e-textiles.  

Usually finger stick glucose measurement is used for hypoglycaemia. Glucose levels below 70 mg/dL and 54 mg/dL are categorized as mild and serious hypoglycaemia. Heart rate variability (HRV) measurement could be useful for real-time early detection of hypoglycaemia, as the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by hypoglycaemia. In this study, HRV of a group of type 2 diabetes patients will be monitored continuously using a robust, reliable and comfortable graphene-based ECG textile. At the same time glucose levels will be monitored via finger stick method in order to correlate hypoglycaemia event with HRV.  

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