GlucoSense: an implantable blood sugar sensor for continuous monitoring
Since September 2006 I have been working on an Industrial project coordinated by Lifecare AS and sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council's (NFR) BIA programme (User-driven Research-based Innovation), which sponsors industrial research projects with academic partners.
The goal of this project is to develop an implantable blood-sugar sensor for diabetes patients. Continuous monitoring of the blood sugar enables patients to administer insulin in much better controlled doses and thus to regulate blood sugar much more precisely. An enormous increase of the lifespan in the order of 10 years has been estimated to be the result of this improved blood sugar control.
The sensor principle
The sensor is based on osmotic pressure measurements. A semipermeable membrane is developed that is selective to sugar molecules. A reference chamber in the implant with a known sugar concentration will build up osmotic pressure dependent on the difference to sugar concentration in the blood.
An ASIC to control the implant
The implant will be controlled by a low power micro-chip, i.e. an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit). It will take the readings of the pressure in the reference chamber, convert them into a digital signal that is conveyd by a wireless inductive link to an external unit, e.g. placed in a wrist watch. The development of this ASIC is the task of the partner UiO in this project.
- Lifecare AS, Norway: coordination, marketing
- UiO/IFI, Norway: control ASIC
- Vestfold University College, Norway: packaging
- Rikshospitalet, Norway: bio-compatibility, clinical tests
- VTT, Finnland: inductive link, chip-carrier, packaging
- CSEM, Switzerland: semipermeable
, Glasgow, UK: semipermeable membrane, sensor
last update: 7.3.2008