Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Tina Smilkstein


A non-invasive glucose sensor has been sought after by millions of Americans living with diabetes and scientists alike. Current blood glucose sensors approved by the FDA involve an invasive collection technique coupled with costly chemical analysis materials, which continue to bring pain to the growing diabetic population in America. Previous research of non-invasive sensing methods has shown promise, but the difficulty of transmitting power through tissue has degraded the sensing consistency and accuracy needed to reach the consumer market. This has been overcome with recent research in midfield wave power transmission at Stanford University, which has provided an opportunity for investigating a new, non-invasive glucose sensing technique. The design proposed in this thesis uses a slot array antenna transmitting through the human arm in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) range at a wavelength absorbed by glucose to investigate the relationship between blood glucose levels and received power from a loop antenna receiver. The complete system incorporates an RF mixer, a Wilkinson power divider, and an RF detector to enable use with Cal Poly’s lab equipment. Changes in blood glucose levels are tracked within an R value of 0.91 when the testing setup maintains consistency in physical placement of the transmitter and receiver. Ten measurements over the course of seven hours accurately sensed changes in the subject’s blood glucose levels with two outlier data points. The system provides a vehicle for further investigation into a new, non-invasive blood glucose sensing method to improve the quality of life for millions around the world.

Award received:

Outstanding Thesis Award