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Published on 3 August 2010

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Sensor implant for diabetics unveiled

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Researchers have developed a new implantable glucose sensor and wireless data system that can monitor blood sugar level in diabetes patients and transmit the data to an external receiver.

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego, and spin-out firm GlySens – who tested the new device on pigs – said the sensor, which can be implanted in a simple outpatient procedure, can work without tissue forming on it for over 500 days.

David Gough, UC San Diego bioengineering professor, said: “That’s a big step from a scientific point of view, and it’s due to the sensor’s unique oxygen detection scheme.”

The sensor draws in glucose and oxygen, which then undergo a reaction in the presence of the enzyme glucose oxidase.

The level of remaining oxygen is measured and compared to the baseline oxygen recorded by another identical sensor.

Findings of the year-long trials on pigs have been published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

With the first human trial expected to begin within a few months, researchers hope the device could prove an effective alternative to other methods used to determine blood sugar, enabling diabetics to automatically adjust their insulin injections.



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