Glucosense Diagnostics is developing a device to directly monitor blood glucose levels without the need to penetrate the skin. This novel, non-invasive device could transform the lives of millions of people living with diabetes, ending the need for daily pain and mess from finger-prick testing or the use of monitoring implants – providing a simpler and potentially cheaper alternative for healthcare providers.

The device is under development and not currently available for sale.



Currently, people with diabetes face a complicated, painful process to measure their blood glucose levels; pricking their finger, extracting a drop of blood onto a test strip and putting it into a portable glucometer. This may have to be repeated up to eight times each day to enable the effective control and management of diabetes.

Diabetes –
a major and growing condition

  • Over 380m adults worldwide estimated to have diabetes
  • By 2035, this could grow to nearly 600m adults - 1 in 10 people worldwide
  • 6% of the UK population are pre-diabetic
  • 3.9m people in the UK have diabetes with around 10% having the most severe form, type I and 90% have the lifestyle based type II diabetes but around half of those are undiagnosed
  • The current cost to healthcare providers is $500bn


Glucosense’s proprietary, non-invasive technology will be configured as a small, portable device using a low-powered laser sensor to measure blood glucose levels within 30 seconds. It has the potential to provide a simpler, pain-free alternative to finger-pricking and implants. The technology’s continuous monitoring capabilities would make it ideal for use as a wearable device, providing timely alerts if intervention is needed – even while sleeping.

Planned Features

  • Ground-breaking, non-invasive technology
  • Hand-held or wearable device for single and continuous glucose level measurements
  • Hypoglycaemia early warning alert system

Applications Under Development

Intermittent measurement

Simply requires a finger-touch on a small, hand-held device, to provide a single measurement of blood glucose level.

The all-in-one device will measure, process, display and, in advanced versions, wirelessly transfer data to a smart phone or PC.

This could improve the lives of people living with diabetes by replacing the traditional finger-pricking glucometer method.

Continuous measurement

A wearable device is being developed for people who need to continuously monitor their glucose levels.

The device will combine a sensor head to collect and measure data, and may be connected wirelessly to a smart phone or PC to send alerts to the user when needed - enabling real time control without the need for a subcutaneous implant.


  • Simple and easy to use
    A finger-touch is all that is needed to take a measurement
  • Pain free
    Non-invasive, no subcutaneous insertion, no finger-pricking or blood required
  • Potentially lower costs in use
    No need for extra consumables and more cost effective than existing implanted self-monitoring systems
  • No waste
    Needles for blood sample collection and disposable sample strips would no longer be required
  • Self-regulation
    Continuous readings could enable better self-management of diabetes
  • Hypoglycaemia warning
    Automatic alarms, even while sleeping

How it Works


Glucosense’s non-invasive device is based on proprietary photonics technology. At its heart is nano-engineered silica glass with ions that fluoresce in the infrared region when stimulated by a low power laser. When the glass is in contact with the user’s skin, the reflected fluorescence signal varies based on the concentration of glucose in their blood. The process takes less than 30 seconds.


Developed by Professor Gin Jose and a team at the University of Leeds, UK, research into the photonics technology was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the University of Leeds Research and Innovation Services.

The technology has a strong IP position (applications and photonic technology) with potential for the detection of further analytes.


The results of a pilot clinical study, carried out at the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine suggests that the device will perform as well as conventional technologies.

Ongoing clinical trials and product optimisation are required before regulatory approvals and launch.

Meet the Team

François Martelet - Chairman

Chairman, Glucosense

With over 20 years of biopharma experience and a proven track record of shaping and developing businesses to deliver returns, François has a deep knowledge of commercialisation and proven managerial capabilities.


Project Director, Glucosense


20 years in pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics product development. Mark is leading the product development work for Glucosense.


Chair in Functional Materials, Faculty of Engineering, University of Leeds

Inventor of wavelength tunable random laser in rare earth doped glass films and its application in non-invasive glucose sensing.


Glucosense is a spin-out company jointly formed and funded by NetScientific plc and the University of Leeds.



NetScientific plc is a biomedical and healthcare technology group that identifies, develops and commercialises biomedical and healthcare technologies offering transformative benefits to people's lives and society through improved diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.




The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, with more than 31,000 students from 147 different countries, and a member of the Russell Group research-intensive universities.