Glucose sensors / diabetes monitoring
Diabetes is an endemic disease which is always on the increase. Roughly 4% of the population are diabetics. If blood glucose levels climb too high, the disease can lead to serious health problems. Hence, there is an urgent need for a fine-meshed measure of blood glucose values. Based on measurement-technical considerations, at least 30 measurements per day would be necessary, though 50 or even 100 would be preferable. This fine-meshed monitoring cannot be accomplished by constant blood tests, which injure the patient.
Thus a method is needed which, avoids the withdrawal of blood samples. At this point 2 alternatives should be considered:
- A maintenance-free, implantable sensor for the measurement of the blood glucose concentration. In this case this sensor would transfer its information outside transcutaneously, so that, e.g., an insulin pump can independently provide a suitable dosage. Of course the implantation of such a sensor is a rather drastic, unattractive, solution, but, at least, very worthwhile for patients with blood glucose concentrations that are difficult to adjust, or juvenile diabetics.
- A non-invasive control of the blood glucose concentration with an external sensor, brought in contact with a specific tissue of interest. A topical measurement, would, of course, provide an even more elegant solution. There are worldwide activities in this domain. BLM is similarly engaged in work on this front, with very promising preliminary results. However, there is still much research to be performed.
The procedure is patented by BLM.
Diabetes research at BLM:
Concepts for invasive and non-invasive sensors that will enable continuous monitoring of blood glucose concentration, thereby providing optimum care for diabetic patients.