CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0012
Release: June 7, 1999
UI researcher named to National Institutes of Health
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mark A. Arnold, professor of chemistry
in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, has been named a member
of a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) study section for a four-year
period beginning July 1, 1999.
NIH study sections contribute to the national biomedical
research effort by providing peer review of grant applications, making recommendations
on applications to NIH advisory councils and boards, and surveying the status
of scientific research. Study section members are selected on the basis of
demonstrated competence and achievement in their respective scientific disciplines
as shown by research, publications in scientific journals, and other scientific
activities, achievements and honors. Arnold will serve on the Metallobiochemistry
Study Section of the NIH Center for Scientific Review based in Bethesda, Md.
Arnold, whose research interests include chemical
sensors and infrared spectroscopy, is a member of a UI multidisciplinary research
team that received a two-year, $294,000 grant in 1998. The grant is to develop
novel semiconductor materials for use in a bloodless, light-based system for
measuring blood sugar levels. The ultimate goal of the research project, funded
by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
is to alter the control and treatment of juvenile diabetes.
Arnold, who has been working on noninvasive, blood
glucose monitoring devices for more than 10 years, hopes to replace the current
monitoring procedure, consisting of numerous finger sticks and test-strip
glucose meters, with a beam of light.
A beam of light passed through the body--perhaps through
the webbing between the fingers-- would provide information on blood glucose
concentrations. The glucose absorbs selected wavelengths of light. The project,
which is being conducted within the Optical Science and Technology Center
in the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories building, will develop new detector
materials for these specific wavelengths of light.
A successful noninvasive glucose monitor would make
blood glucose measurements painless and permit more frequent testing for persons
with diabetes. More frequent testing, in turn, would allow greater control
of blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the long-term medical complications
caused by chronic hyperglycemia while avoiding dangerous hypoglycemic conditions.