The wearable patch allows diabetics to painlessly monitor their blood glucose levels. (Credit: University of Bath)

Transdermal Diagnostics, a University of Bath spinout company, has invented a wearable patch that allows people with diabetes to painlessly monitor their blood glucose levels. The company has received £800,000 ($920,576) in seed funding and a £300,000 ($341,466) grant from Innovate UK. The £1.1 million ($12.5 million) will advance the team’s cutting-edge technology towards commercialization.

The technology promises to enable people living with diabetes to significantly slow down, or even prevent, the progression of the disease by monitoring blood glucose levels around the clock in a completely painless manner. The patch will sample glucose through the skin and will eliminate the need for the poorly tolerated finger-prick blood test. Readings will be transmitted wirelessly to a mobile phone.

The patented patch technology uses a unique multiplex architecture to sample, via preferential pathways, the fluid that nurtures the living cells of the skin. This fluid contains glucose at a level that is very similar to that found in the blood. The approach enables the amount of glucose sampled to be detected and quantified non-invasively, without puncturing the skin, thereby avoiding any need for a blood sample.