It goes without saying that with technology advancing by leaps and bounds these days, we will be getting medical implants in a few hundred different ways to help us live longer and better. Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo have even come up with a new fluorescent fiber sensor that intends to pave the way for long-term in vivo continuous glucose monitoring. The sensor is said to be able to overcome current limitations that rely on current enzyme-based implanted glucose sensors, which are plagued by poor accuracy, stability and constantly require the use of oxygen.
This new sensor will be made up of glucose-responsive fluorescent hydrogels that are stashed away in a fiber structure. The fiber measures a mere 1mm in diameter, where one can easily inject it under the skin – and have it removed using tweezers. To put it in a nutshell, this is an injectable light pipe that will glow in response to changes in blood glucose concentrations. It is said that the sensor has been rather accurate in nature, not to mention stable and sensitive – at least it has been tested in that way for up to 140 days in mice.
It goes without saying that this sensor requires far more calibration and testing at the moment, but we do keep our fingers crossed as to how this will work out in the long run.