Genetically Modified Skin Graft Works as Built-In Glucose Meter

Simple to use finger prick glucometers have helped diabetics to handle their disease and continuous glucose monitors that stay on our bodies for several days at any given time make it also simpler. Still, these can appear like technology from centuries past when compared to genetically engineered and grafted bloodstream glucose sensor developed in the College of Chicago.

To do this, they used the CRISPR method to modify skin stem cells so they add a special gene from E. coli bacteria. This gene produces glucose/galactose-binding protein (GGBP), and because the name implies, it attaches itself to sugar.

To be able to really observe how this protein binds to sugar, and for that reason utilize it like a glucometer, they also genetically modified your skin to include genetic code for a set of fluorescent probes. When GGBP binds to sugar, the modification in the configuration affects the neighborhood power of the fluorescent probes. The modification within the fluorescence could be detected and it is level may also be correlated to sugar levels measured using traditional glucometry.

Although the research impresses as groundbreaking, and was already attempted on rodents, still it requires peer review plus much more pre-clinical work prior to the same could be attempted on humans.

Preprint (not peer reviewed) article in bioRxiv: Growth and development of an important Skin Sensor for Bloodstream Glucose Level with CRISPR-mediated Genome Editing in Epidermal Stem Cells…

Image thanks to researchers.


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