Diabetes is an issue of increasing importance—across the country, it's affecting more and more people, both directly and indirectly. That makes it more essential than ever to find new ways to address the challenges it raises. By better understanding diabetes, and enhancing the technologies that help manage its symptoms, we can help improve the lives of millions.
When you eat food, your body breaks down the sugars and starches into glucose, a simple type of sugar that your cells use for energy. Using that glucose requires insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas which allows blood sugar to enter cells. Diabetes is caused by a breakdown of this process, resulting in high blood sugar levels and insufficient usage of that sugar by the cells that need it. There are two common reasons for this: in type 1, the body ceases to produce insulin, and in type 2, cells gradually develop a resistance to insulin, and the pancreas isn't able to produce enough to compensate for it.
Diabetes causes a number of symptoms, like unusual thirst, hunger, and fatigue, slow healing of cuts and bruises, unusual weight loss, and pain or numbness in the extremities. And there can be more serious complications, like skin infections, and nerve damage.
Although there's no cure for diabetes, it can be managed. The symptoms can be reduced, and the complications avoided, through new habits and advancements in technology. Testing blood sugar levels, balancing food and exercise and using prescribed medication can all help minimize symptoms, and the field of treatment is constantly advancing.
Our scientists are dedicated to furthering this collaborative process and helping improve the lives of diabetics everywhere. To help make glucose testing easier, we've developed enhanced microfluidic technology and hydrophilic films that enable multiple fluid tests to be performed on a single chip instead of a full-fledged laboratory. To help maintain healthy skin or help manage wounds related to diabetes we developed products to support skin health. And that's only the beginning.
By combining the knowledge of doctors, nurses, patients, and scientists around the world, we strive to create solutions that mean better lives, and a better world.