The UNAM team that designed the biosensor. The UNAM team that designed the biosensor.

Diabetes biosensor wins Google award

UNAM team one of two Mexican winners of Google Research Awards

A sensor that measures glucose and insulin levels in diabetes patients and stores the information online has won a Google Research Award for two professors and two students at the National Autonomous University (UNAM).

Professors Catalina Stern and Mathieu Hautefeuille and their doctorate students Mariana Centeno and Jehú López from UNAM’s School of Sciences developed a project entitled ​“Interconnected Dual Biosensor for Type II Diabetes Mellitus.”

Their project consists of a biosensor that will measure glucose and insulin levels simultaneously in real time, in order to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes mellitus, even in stages where there are no obvious symptoms.

The data will be stored online via a universally accessible app and will aid in the construction of a database and further analysis.

Hautefeuille is an expert in micromanufacturing and sensors and has been working with Mexican physicians for some time. As a result of that relationship came a request by a specialist from the General Hospital of Mexico for a miniaturized dual glucose-insulin sensor, in order to aide in the diagnosis and care of an ever-increasing diabetic population.

For Stern this was a necessary development, as ”14% of the country’s population is diabetic, besides many more who haven’t been properly diagnosed.”

The miniature sensor will help an overwhelmed health care system, offering a solution and autonomy to diabetic patients by allowing them to accurately and effortlessly measure their glucose and insulin levels, data that will also be readily available to their physicians.

The project is 40% advanced, and the team expects to complete it late in 2016. An additional six-month period will be necessary to design and test a commercially-ready package.

Google Research Awards in Latin America are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class, full-time faculty members and their students at top universities.

In its first Latin American edition, the program considered 301 projects, choosing 12 winners: eight from Brazil, two from Mexico, and one each from Colombia and Chile. Both Mexican winners are UNAM projects.

The winners receive grants that are paid monthly. At the Ph.D. level, the student receives US$ 1,200 monthly and faculty $750 a month. At the Master of Science level, the student receives $750 per month and faculty $675.

The second Mexican team to win was computer scientist Carlos Gershenson’s project, “Urban Coordination of Autonomous Vehicles.”

Gershenson’s goal is to design and test coordination algorithms for autonomous vehicles at intersections in order to maximize traffic flow and safety. He is planning to develop and deploy an open-source simulator that will be made available to the public.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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