Sharp Corp developed a sensor that quantifies the accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), which are protein saccharified in blood vessels.
The company exhibited a prototype of the sensor, "Blood Vessel Aging Degree Sensor," at Semicon Japan 2014, which took place from Dec 3 to 5, 2014, in Tokyo. It can visualize the degree of aging of blood vessels, which cannot be measured by conventional blood glucose level sensors. It enables to detect diabetes, etc at an early stage. Sharp aims to commercialize it in the second half of fiscal 2015.
When too much sugar is taken in daily life, protein is saccharified and becomes incapable of functioning normally. This is called glycation and allegedly causes not only diabetes but dementia, cancers, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, etc. In other words, AGEs are the source of all kinds of diseases.
AGEs are known to have a correlation with blood glucose level. But, unlike blood glucose level, their measurement values do not fluctuate much depending on, for example, the meal taken before the measurement.
The new sensor applies blue-violet light (wavelength: 365nm) to finger veins and quantifies the accumulation of AGEs in the veins by using the autofluorescence of the AGEs. Currently, Sharp is testing the sensor in cooperation with a university, etc, to develop applications and measure the effects of it, considering applying for approval of the Japanese government for medical use as necessary, the company said.
At Semicon Japan 2014, Sharp exhibited the "Health Cockpit," which can check the physical and mental health conditions of the person sitting on it (See related article). And the company is considering offering the Blood Vessel Aging Degree Sensor as an option for the Health Cockpit.