Implantable Glucose Sensor Successful in Pigs, Diabetic Humans Next
by Caleb Johnson — Jul 29th 2010 at 5:15PM
Thanks to new research, diabetics could one day have a long-term solution to glucose monitoring. According to Technology Review, researchers implanted glucose sensors in pigs, and have concluded that they worked successfully for two years. Now, David Gough, the bioengineer who founded the company behind the pig experiment, GlySens, is petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve his invention for testing in humans. If approved, this device, which has a diameter of 3 centimeters and is about 1-centimeter thick, could change the lives of diabetics.
There are other implantable glucose-monitoring devices available to diabetics, but each one must be connected via a wire to a processing unit, which has to be carried by the person and replaced every week or so. Gough's model is unique. The sensor, which would be implanted in the chest, measures glucose levels in tissue, and sends the data to a wireless receiver (like a cell phone or compute), thereby eliminating the need to continually test blood sugar. If the human trials are permitted and yield similarly successful results, this sensor could be a long-term solution for diabetes sufferers.
We've seen our diabetic friends prick their fingers enough times to know a small implant would be a major improvement. Also, a device that continuously measures blood-sugar levels and gives accurate readings will allow users to see trends in their health (e.g., spikes in sugar during times of stress). That may mean longer, healthier and happier lives for those that currently invest large amounts of time and energy into insulin management. [From: Technology Review]
Next Discussion: Thank You »