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Transdermal sampling – collecting blood through the skin – is a reliable alternative to taking blood samples from a vein with a needle in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D), new research has found.

A woman's hand with the blood test for children © YourBio Health

The study by Oxford researchers is the first to test the acceptability of transdermal sampling in children. Sixty-three percent of participants preferred this method to a needle, while just seven percent preferred the needle.

These results, published in the journal Diabetes Care, could pave the way for this technique to be used in other settings, such as general paediatrics.

In this study researchers tested the ability to sample C-peptide in children and adults using the transdermal technique. C-peptide measures pancreatic function, a marker of the body’s insulin production, a process which is faulty in T1D, requiring lifelong insulin replacement by injection or insulin pump. Measuring C-peptide in T1D is used to understand whether interventions to stop or reverse the disease have worked.


Read the full story on the  National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre