From Silk to Sensors

The India-based Achira Labs has taken silk screening to a whole new level.

Chemical engineers from Achira Labs have found a way to weave diabetes test strips from silk, rather than the conventional plastic or paper.

But they’re not creating these strips for luxury. Silk would actually have several advantages in a country such as India, where weavers are abundant and silk is inexpensive.

Achira Labs have used these silk sensors before to detect other medical issues, including strips that change color when they detect a deadly type of diarrhea in diapers.

These new silk strips for diabetics are not only just as efficient as other types of glucose strips, they are also easier to manufacture.

This from NPR:

Plastic and paper strips are typically sprayed with enzymes that break down blood sugar into electricity. Then a machine has to embed electrodes in the material, so the electrical signals can be transmitted into the glucose meter. Achira’s silk sensors only require the spray. The coated threads can conduct the electrochemical signals.

Read the full article here.

This development will be especially critical for people in India, which has the second highest number of diabetes cases in the world – coming in at 66.8 million.

To find out more about innovation in sensor technology, join us at the 227th ECS Meeting in Chicago, where we’ll be hosting a symposium on sensors – ranging from environmental monitoring to biosensors.


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