2.2 million deaths were attributed to high blood glucose levels in 2012. However, despite the daunting amount of deaths, glucometer tests are still inconvenient and costly. Test strips cost an astronomical amount and spoil readily in hot and humid weather. These tests will not function in the event of a natural disaster. We decided to change that.
What it does
Spit into some mud and a user-friendly app will easily analyze the data collected from your saliva sample, quickly telling you if your blood glucose concentration is abnormally high. It's as easy as that.
How it works
Glucose levels increase in saliva as the glucose concentration in your blood increases. Bacteria eat glucose as food and special bacteria called exoelectrogens (commonly found in mud) can create electricity from it. The more glucose there is in a sample, the higher the voltage. By analyzing the voltage that is produced by the bacteria in the mud, we can determine if your blood glucose levels are dangerously high.
How we built it
With an Arduino, breadboard, op-amp, and wires, we measured if your glucose levels are either too high (1.0) or healthy (0.0). For software, we used a library called PySerial which can access the Arduino through a serial connection with a laptop. We used pencil lead, a water bottle, and mud to make the glucose sensor.
Challenges we ran into
We had trouble measuring low voltages using an Arduino. We tried different resistor configurations, attempted to find a voltage sensor, and tried increasing the voltage with an op amp. We resorted to using an op-amp comparator to analyze our voltages.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of blending together all the circuity, software, and biology in this project. Somehow we miraculously made it work.
What's next for GluClose
The current prototype only determines if your blood glucose level has reached a dangerous level. In the future it'll be able to detect exact glucose concentrations in blood.