Saliva test a painless method for monitoring diabetes
Scientists have always been in search for a more cost-effective , non-invasive and specific diabetes monitoring compared to blood sugar testing.
Brazilian researchers have found that Saliva could be used instead of blood to monitor diabetes in a method proposed in research involving the University of Strathclyde.
Lab tests of the saliva process have shown promising results with an accuracy rate of 95.2%. The research has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Blood sugar testing on regular basis may lead to non compliance as it is invasive, painful and costly. Scientists have been in look out to develop alternative test to the current prevalent practice of monitoring blood sugar.
Dr Matthew Baker, a Reader in Strathclyde's Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry and lead researcher in the project, said: "Frequent monitoring of diabetes is essential for improved glucose control and to delay clinical complications related to the condition. Early screening is also paramount in reducing these complications worldwide.
"Blood analysis for screening, monitoring and diagnosing diabetes is widely practised but is quite invasive and painful. The constant need of piercing the fingers several times daily for most patients may lead to the development of finger calluses, as well as difficulty in obtaining blood samples; furthermore, not everyone would want to give blood and there are circumstances in which it could be dangerous.
"Saliva reflects several physiological functions of the body, such as emotional, hormonal, nutritional and metabolic, and so its biomarkers could be an alternative to blood for robust early detection and monitoring. It is easy to collect, non-invasive, convenient to store and requires less handling than blood during clinical procedures, while also being environmentally efficient. It also contains analytes with real-time monitoring value which can be used to check a person's condition."
Dr Robinson Sabino-Silva, an associate professor at Federal University of Uberlandia (UFU) and a partner in the research, said: "The present protocol used in the infrared platform is able to detect spectral biomarkers without reagents. The combination of a non-invasive salivary collection and a reagent-free analysis permit us to monitor diabetes with a sustainable platform classified as green technology."
The lab tests used a scientific system known as Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. This has been used in the diagnosis of several diseases, although its applications in the monitoring of diabetic treatment have begun to emerge only recently. Samples were assessed in three categories - diabetic, non-diabetic and insulin-treated diabetic - and two potential diagnostic biomarkers were identified.
The researchers are hopeful that the process they have developed could be used for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, although further study will be required to confirm this.
For further reference log on to: