Researchers at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a device which can control the release of insulin through a smartwatch.
Smartwatches emit a green light which can penetrate the skin and record a user’s heartrate throughout the day. To capitalise on this, the team implanted a device, under the skin of diabetic mice, which contains cells that include an insulin-producing gene that is activated by green light.
An electronic smartwatch was then attached to a mouse’s back, and insulin was produced by the cells whenever the green light was on, restoring the animal’s blood sugar levels.
The team will now adapt the system for human use, using the patient’s own cells for insulin release in the device.
“It’s the first time that an implant of this kind has been operated using commercially available, smart electronic devices,” said group leader Martin Fussenegger.