Wireless sensor watches blood sugar for diabetics
Researchers have developed an implantable sensor that measures blood sugar continuously and transmits the information without wires — a milestone, they said, in diabetes treatment.
The device worked in one pig for more than a year and in another for nearly 10 months with no trouble, they reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
It takes the diabetes field a step closer to development of an "artificial pancreas" — a device that can replace natural functions to control how the body handles blood sugar.
And it would be handy for people who need to check blood sugar daily, such as patients with type 2 diabetes, the team at the University of California San Diego and nearby privately held GlySens Inc wrote.
"You can run the device for a year or more with it constantly working, and recording glucose quite satisfactorily," bioengineering professor David Gough, who led the study, said in a statement.
"We hope to begin the first human trial in a few months," Gough added. He said his team has been testing such experimental devices in pigs for 31 years.
Medical device makers have been working to develop a so-called artificial pancreas to deliver insulin to patients with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own ability to make insulin and thus to properly break down sugar.