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Detecting Diabetes

Raised toward our $7,500 Goal
98 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 09, at 09:00 AM AEDT
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Detecting Diabetes

Did you know that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day? That’s one person every 5 minutes.[1]

1 in 11 adults have diabetes or the equivalent of 415 million people worldwide and it is estimated that this number will keep growing, reaching as many as 642 million by 2040.[2]

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in Australia and all types of diabetes are complex and require daily care and management.

At the University of Sydney, our researchers, Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, Postgraduate student Adrian Wu & Professor Stephen Twigg, are developing a device that measures ketone chemicals produced in our liver when other forms of energy called energy substrates are not available, such as glucose.  For type 1 diabetes patients, elevated ketone levels can be life-threatening.

This revolutionary hand-held breath testing device could mean an end to finger prick blood tests for diabetes patients. The technology is needle-free, risk-free and pain-free. It is also cost effective, fast and highly accurate at detecting ketone levels.

Current monitoring methods that diabetics routinely use such as finger pricking to test blood glucose levels are invasive and must be done several times every day. The team at the University have constructed a prototype which they hope to model into a device similar to an alcohol breath testing device. This device will use biomarkers in the breath to detect ketone levels in the body. The results from a small scale study at the University’s Charles Perkins Centre have shown that the sensing technique being used in the new device is more sensitive and accurate than the existing finger prick method.

Two-thirds of diabetic patients live in low to middle-income countries; it would be life changing if they had access to a low cost monitoring unit. 

What do we want to do?

A clinical study to trial the device on diabetes patients is currently underway. The team aims to reduce the size of their prototype to fit comfortably into a handbag or pocket, allowing patients to test the state of their health anytime and anywhere.

How can you help?

Every dollar counts.

Our research is an independent study and relies on our researchers, doctors and nurses to volunteer their time. Please show your support by making a gift today. Donations both large and small mean so much to us and will help to make a difference in the lives of diabetics on a global scale.

If you are not in a position to give, please share our project with your friends and family through social media and your networks.

[1] Diabetes Australia

[2] From the 2015 International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas

Choose a giving level



will help us with costs associated with materials used in the clinical trials


Product development

will help us to halve the size of the breath bag



will help us to develop a smaller, more efficient breath sensor



will help us to design the enclosure and interfaces of the small factor breath analyser



will help us to integrate all devices into the pocket-size breath analyser


Clinical Trials

will help us to pay the costs for a clinical study to test the performance of the pocket size breath analyser


Technological Advancement

will help us to develop wireless connections of the pocket size breath analyser so that users could check their health conditions via smart devices such as smart phone and smart watch at anytime and anywhere

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