Working to Break the Barriers to Continuous Glucose Monitoring

The GlySens continuous glucose sensor has been uniquely designed to function reliably as a long term implant in subcutaneous tissues.  The implant contains two independent detectors: the first measures glucose through a specific chemical reaction involving glucose and oxygen, which is monitored by an electrochemical “main” detector; the second is a “reference” detector that monitors background tissue oxygen levels.  The system’s electronic circuitry automatically determines glucose levels by computing the difference between the signals from these two detectors. This approach is employed to reduce effects of secondary factors such as temperature and blood flow in the surrounding tissues and effects due to the body’s normal mild encapsulation response to the implant.  Utilization of this “differential” approach played a key role in designing the glucose measurement to be robust and remarkably free from many common artifacts.


“The GlySens device represents a potentially major technological leap…(SD Union Tribune, 7/28/10)”
Eric Topol, MD, Professor of Translational Genomics, The Scripps Research Institute; Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute; Founding Dean, Scripps School of Medicine; Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health; Co-founder, West Health Institute

The implant’s differential measurement technology is designed to help ensure accurate sensor operation at all times including periods following meals and during activity and sleep.  By monitoring the difference between the signals from a main detector (M) and reference detector (R), the GlySens ICGMTM system is designed to enhance fidelity and reliability of continuous glucose monitoring under a wide range of conditions.

GlySens has engineered novel methods for extending the lifetime of the implantable sensor.  For example, GlySens’s unique sensor design allows a dramatic increase in the sensor’s usable life expectancy through “co-immobilization” of the primary enzyme used to catalyze the chemical reaction with a secondary enzyme.  This combination enhances enzymatic stability and reduces tissue response to the implant.

5 Key Scientific/Technological Advantages:

  1. The GlySens continuous glucose sensor is designed to directly overcome key disadvantages in other sensor types by employing two enzymes: glucose oxidase and catalase.
  2. GlySens’s “potentiostatic” oxygen detectors are designed to resist interference by endogenous species present in the body, and the inherent detector lifetime can be exceedingly long, unlike hydrogen peroxide detectors and optical detectors used in certain other glucose sensor approaches.
  3. The GlySens sensor is designed to continue to be used long after the wound healing response subsides and the tissue stabilizes, which is expected to enhance stablility and long-term performance, unlike some hydrogen peroxide-based sensors which must be used immediately after implantation and need daily calibration.
  4. The GlySens sensor has been designed to be fully implantable, eliminating many of the issues associated with maintaining through-the-skin and skin-adhered components, which can be serious impediments to the use of other continuous glucose monitors.
  5. The GlySens sensor is designed to allow automated measurements without user interaction and without the inherent variability associated with changing sensor sites every few days.