PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Biomedical and Health Engineering

Glucose Sensor

Principal Investigators: Alan Rosenbloom, Sanford Asher

In severe illness and major surgery, due to the “fight or flight” reaction, blood sugar levels are often high. While this is beneficial in the short term, it suppresses germ fighting capacity, makes infections worse, and increases damage to multiple organs. Tight glucose control saves lives, but it has its own risks, for example, of causing too low a blood sugar. This therapy, now routinely performed in seriously ill patients, requires a continuous infusion of insulin into a vein and close monitoring via hourly blood sugar measurements around the clock. This is time consuming, labor-intensive and uncomfortable for the patient. Using a novel glucose-sensitive polymer and an established blood sampling method we are developing an automated system for blood glucose measurement at 15-minute intervals. This will allow a wider and easier application of tight glucose control, extending its benefits to more patients, while reducing staff workload and patient discomfort.