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Implantable Sensor Measures Blood Sugar Levels
Date:7/28/2010

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- A new implantable blood sugar sensor might one day eliminate the need for the multiple daily finger sticks that people with diabetes must currently endure to check their blood sugar levels.

The new device was tested for more than a year in pigs, and it effectively monitored their blood sugar without the need for daily recalibration.

"This device would be implanted for a long term. It's surgically implanted, like a pacemaker," explained study author David Gough, a professor in the department of bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego.

Gough is also the founder of Glysens, a company that is manufacturing the new glucose monitor.

The findings are published in the July 28 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Gough's group isn't the only one working on developing implantable glucose-sensing technology. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working on a similar device that uses different technology than Gough's sensor.

People with diabetes -- either type 1 or type 2 -- must check their blood sugar frequently. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people check their blood sugar levels at least four times a day, but people taking insulin often check their blood sugar much more often than that, up to a dozen times a day. To check blood sugar levels, someone with diabetes must first draw a drop of blood using a lancet device to stick the finger.

There are also continuous glucose monitoring systems available that must be worn on the outside of the skin, with a small catheter piercing the skin to monitor blood sugar levels. Currently, these devices can only be worn for three to seven days and, in addition, must be recalibrated daily using a standard glucose meter and finger stick. These devices aren't yet considered substitutes for blood glucose meters, but
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