Earring-based diabetes system selected for Dyson design awards was reported by Benedict Jephcote for Diabetes.co.uk, 22 October 2019. An earring and inhaler form part of a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin delivery system shortlisted for the prestigious James Dyson Award for design.

Australian student Frederique Sunstrum is named a finalist in the international awards for her system which links an earring containing a small chrome glucose sensor with a ‘mist’ insulin delivery device, which acts like an inhaler, and a smartphone app.  The project is called Continuity and has been named as one of 20 finalists for the design award. The award aims to celebrate, encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers, with a total prize of £35,000 up for grabs.

At the moment, the system is a concept and is yet to be developed as a fully functioning product. If the project receives the right funding and support, it could be developed as a system to help people with type 1 diabetes.  Frederique, who is studying a PhD honours in industrial design at the University of New South Wales, explained: “The ear device utilises GlucoWise’s technology and applies it in a continuous 24/7 glucose monitoring earring device.

“One side of the device transmits radio-frequency waves through the earlobe, clearing the skin layers, generating a clear picture of the blood cells for the sensor to read the glucose levels on the other side of the earlobe. The device then vibrates to alert users of change in glucose levels and sends alerts to their phone to initiate action.”

The earring links to the handheld spray device through Bluetooth. The user then sprays insulin into the mouth where it is absorbed into the inner lining of the cheeks. There are safeguards to protect against misuse, including child lock features.


Research may show way to minimize complications after heart treatment was reported by the Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 October 2019. Insulin may drive the clogging of stents that often follows coronary angioplasties in people with diabetes.

People with diabetes are much more likely to develop heart disease than those without the condition. They also are several times more likely to develop complications after their coronary disease is treated via angioplasty—a minimally invasive procedure that can open up constricted arteries and hold them open with a tube-shaped device called a stent.

“Surprisingly, when you delete the insulin receptor in this muscle cell, the restenosis process got better, suggesting the insulin receptor plays a role in causing the restenosis,” says Joslin research associate Qian Li, MD, PhD, first author on the paper. “When we removed the IGF receptor, the restenosis got worse. So both pieces of the data support the idea that in diabetes, the insulin receptor is playing an important role in restenosis, which is a major reason for the failure of stents.”

To complicate the research, the insulin receptor and IGF receptor are very similar in structure, each made up of two main arms, and VSMCs often present a “hybrid receptor” that combines one insulin and one IGF arm. “It took us two or three years to figure out that the reason these cells proliferate so much and migrate to cause the restenosis is the pure insulin receptor,” King notes.


New treatment may reverse celiac disease – New technology may be applicable to other autoimmune diseases and allergies, as reported by Marla Paul for Northwestern.edu, 22 October 2019. 

Results of a new phase 2 clinical trial using technology developed at Northwestern Medicine show it is possible to induce immune tolerance to gluten in individuals with celiac disease. The findings may pave the way for treated celiac patients to eventually tolerate gluten in their diet. The findings will be presented as a late-breaking presentation Oct. 22 at theEuropean Gastroenterology Week conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The technology is a biodegradable nanoparticle containing gluten that teaches the immune system the antigen (allergen) is safe. The nanoparticle acts like a Trojan horse, hiding the allergen in a friendly shell, to convince the immune system not to attack it.

Beyond celiac disease, the finding sets the stage for the technology — a nanoparticle containing the antigen triggering the allergy or autoimmune disease — to treat a host of other diseases and allergies including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, peanut allergy, asthma and more.

Read more:  New treatment may reverse celiac disease

More on the critical importance of sleep:

Sleep allows immune cells to do maintenance work on the brain was published by Maria Cohut for MedicalNewsToday.com, 24 October 2019.  Studies have shown that during sleep, the brain reactualizes, updating memories, and clearing up “waste.” New research in mouse models suggests that specialized immune cells keep the brain in good working order by maintaining it during sleep.

A team of researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge have learned that the brain consolidates newly formed memories during sleep. They have also discovered that sleep provides an excellent opportunity to take out the neural “trash.”

In their study — whose findings feature in Nature Neuroscience — the investigators worked with mice to find out more about how microglia, which are the immune cells that “service” the brain, perform their maintenance work during sleep.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,”  says Prof. Ania Majewska.

Read more:  Sleep allows immune cells to do maintenance work on the brain


Researchers activate problem-solving during sleep was reported by Robby Berman for MedicalNewsToday.com, 27 October 2019.  How cool!  Using sound cues, scientists have made study participants solve puzzles in their sleep. 

When people choose to “sleep on” a difficult decision, it is because they know that there is a chance that they will wake up with a clearer view of the problem.  Now, for the first time, researchers have been able to trigger problem-solving sleep.  A summary of their findings appears in the October issue of Psychological Science.

Sanders and colleagues conclude in their paper:  Overall, these results demonstrate that cueing puzzle information during sleep can facilitate solving, thus supporting sleep’s role in problem incubation and establishing a new technique to advance understanding of problem-solving and sleep cognition.”

READ MORE:  Researchers activate problem-solving during sleep

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