"Sayonara, painful fingerpricking!" could be the refrain soon uttered by millions of diabetics, as a group of scientists has developed a nano-sized sensors for glucose. The finding might yield portable devices for future at-home diagnostics.

Over 300 millions individuals across the globe have type 2 diabetes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In order to maintain their blood sugar levels, many self-administer an finerstick test on a routine basis — up to eight or nine times a day. This amounts to thousands of sharp, unpleasant jabs to the index finger over the course of a year.

The new sensors — microscopic wafers comprised of carbon with a special coating — could easily and reliably measure "glucose concentrations in a clinically relevant range," according to Charlie Johnson and his team of engineers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Affordability is a major limiting factor for moving any piece of new technology from the bench to the bedside. Luckily, that's not a limiting factor here. Carbon-based nanosensors, such as the ones used in this study, are very attractive from a commercial perspective because they are relatively cheap and their costs might drop significantly in the near future.

Another litmus test for clinical use is reproducibility. Johnson and co. were able to consistently duplicate the sensors, which bodes well for future use on a larger scale.

"Such devices are promising candidates for scalable, point-of-case diagnostic tools," saidthe authors.