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Mark Arnold, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 230 IATL
Phone: 319-335-1368
Faculty Profile  

Brief Description of Current Research:

Controlling the concentration of glucose in the body is paramount to the clinical management of diabetes.  Tight glycemic control is known to delay the onset of medical complications associated with hyperglycemia and to avoid life-threatening hypoglycemia episodes.  Successful glycemic control demands frequent and accurate blood glucose measurements that can be used to guide insulin or glucagon therapy.  My research program is focused on the development of a noninvasive glucose monitor that uses light at harmless near-infrared wavelengths to measure the concentration of glucose in a painless and nondestructive manner without the need for expensive test-strips or implants.  This approach involves passing light through a fold of skin and determining the concentration of glucose from an analysis of the resulting tissue spectrum.  An animal model developed in my research group at the University of Iowa demonstrates the feasibility of noninvasive glucose sensing by demonstrating blood glucose measurements in laboratory rats.  Currently, we are configuring this technology for measurements in people.  Envisioned applications include coupling our noninvasive monitor to an artificial pancreas, hypoglycemic alarm and smart personal devices for mobile healthcare applications. 

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Alexeeva, NV; Arnold, MA; Impact of tissue heterogeneity on noninvasive near infrared glucose measurements in interstitial fluid of rat skin; Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 2010; 4:1041-1054.
  • Arnold, MA; Olesberg, JT; Small, GW; Near-infrared spectroscopy for noninvasive glucose sensing; in Analytical Chemistry of In Vivo Glucose Measurements; Cunningham, D.; Stenken, JA, Eds.; Wiley Chemical Analysis Series, 2009, Chapter 13.
  • Arnold, MA; Liu, L; Olesberg, JT: Selectivity assessment of noninvasive glucose measurements based on analysis of multivariate calibration vectors; Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 2007 1(4), 454-462.
  • Olesberg JT; Liu L; Van Zee V; and Arnold MA; “In vivo near-infrared spectroscopy of rat skin tissue with varying blood glucose levels,” Analytical Chemistry 2006, 78: 215-223.


Accurate, rapid and painless measurements of glucose in people will revolutionize clinical practice and enable the realization of a host of technologies, including the artificial pancreas, that promise significant improvements in quality of life for people with Type I diabetes.