Implanted glucose sensor works for more than one year

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego and GlySens Incorporated have developed an implantable glucose sensor and wireless telemetry system that continuously monitors tissue glucose and transmits the information to an external receiver. The paper, published in the July 28, 2010 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine, describes the use of this glucose-sensing device as an implant in animals for over one year. After human clinical trials and FDA approval, the device may be useful to people with diabetes as an alternative to finger sticking, and to short-term needle-like glucose sensors that have to be replaced every three to seven days.

Toward Clinical Trials

 
The glucose sensor is featured on the cover of the July 28, 2010 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
CREDIT: C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
"The Science Translational Medicine paper shows our implanted sensors to be successful in animals. You can run the device for a year or more with it constantly working, and recording glucose quite satisfactorily. Now, we are focused on getting the human clinical trials going. We hope to begin the first human trial within in a few months," said Gough, the bioengineering professor from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "If all goes well with the human clinical trials, we anticipate that in several years, this device could be purchased under prescription from a physician."

Glucose Sensor Could be Useful for People with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
The long-term glucose sensor could be used by people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes do not make enough insulin of their own. The long-term glucose sensors could be used to adjust the insulin dose and timing of the injection, and reduce the risk of taking too much insulin and becoming hypoglycemic, which can be immediately life threatening.

Hypoglycemia happens when you get too much insulin for the available glucose, or when insulin absorbs too rapidly.

People with Type 2 diabetes could use the long-term glucose sensors to help them adjust their diet and exercise schedule. Also, some people with Type 2 diabetes take insulin and have the same hypoglycemia worries as people with Type 1 diabetes.