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Three firms to develop implantable RFID glucose sensor

Posted: 28 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RFID tags? implantable RFID? glucose sensor? bio-sensor?

Three companies have teamed up to develop a prototype renewable glucose sensor to be used in conjunction with an implantable bio-sensing RFID microchip to measure glucose levels in the body.

The group is composed of VeriChip Corp., a provider of RFID systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, Digital Angel Corp., owner of a patent for an embedded bio-sensor system, and Receptors LLC, a developer of proteomics and artificial receptors.

Based on the agreement, VeriChip will manage the partnership project, with the assistance of Digital Angel. Receptors will be responsible for demonstrating a self-contained glucose-sensing system in Phase I of the project. According to VeriChip, they anticipate a working prototype within six to twelve months.

"The partnership will expand and accelerate our development efforts to create a prototype product and subsequently initiate clinical trials," said Scott Silverman, chairman and CEO of VeriChip. "We believe an implantable, glucose-sensing microchip could materially improve the lives of people with diabetes by negating their need to withdraw blood multiple times each day."

Silverman said that VeriChip's medical device division aims to gain its niche in the implantable RF devices segment. "We look at this glucose sensor development project as a first step in evolving our business from implantable RFID devices to devices that can treat, diagnose and aid in patient care," continued Silverman.

Checking blood glucose levels regularly is critical to properly managing diabetes. The conventional methoda finger prickis painful and often inaccurate. Addressing these concerns, the implantable bio-sensor chip to be developed would have a passive transponder, a sensor and integrated circuitry that could allow anyone implanted with the microchip to painlessly scan it to determine their blood glucose concentration. The RFID microchip would then quickly and accurately transmit the glucose data back to a wireless scanner that displays the glucose level. The RFID microchip would be powered by the scanner signal, avoiding the need for a battery in the microchip.

Although it is unknown when commercialization of this glucose-sensing microchip may occur, VeriChip aims to market it as Digital Angel's exclusive licensee in the area of human implantable identification products. Digital Angel has also developed a temperature-sensing microchip, Bio-Thermo, which is used in horses and companion pets.

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