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June 19, 2008

Georgetown University, Gentag and SAIC Team on Mobile Blood Glucose Monitor

By Shireen Dee, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Georgetown University, Gentag, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) have come together to create a new non-invasive method of measuring blood glucose. This new method will use disposable skin patches with wireless sensors and cell phones to monitor glucose. It could also completely eliminate the traditional method of ‘finger pricking’ through lancets to draw blood of diabetic patients.

Being funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), this SAIC and Georgetown glucose sensor technology will combine Gentag's cell phone Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) technology.
This technology will use the cell phone for measuring glucose and insulin delivery, its probable application could be a disposable, wireless skin patch that measures glucose levels and subsequently reports those levels to a cell phone that could also wirelessly control an insulin pump.
According to the agreement, Gentag, Georgetown and SAIC will pool in their respective intellectual property to sell or license this technology to an enterprise involved in developing glucose monitors or insulin-delivery systems.
"This alliance provides an excellent example of cooperation between academia and industry to bring creative healthcare solutions to the marketplace," said Claudia Stewart, Vice President of Technology Commercialization at Georgetown University.
The skin patch technology was initially developed by Physics professors, John Currie and Mak Paranjape at GAEL (Georgetown Advanced Electronics Laboratory) and researchers Thomas Schneider and Robert White, who worked in the micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) department at SAIC. It was first used to monitor the status of soldiers on the battlefield.
This method will use soft, flexible skin patches, and aims to relive diabetics from the pain and discomfort associated with the ‘finger-pricking’ method. The skin patches will be designed so that readings will be possible once every hour for a 24-hour period. The method is designed for convenience as it uses the cell phone as a reader. Another one of its benefits will be the emergency geolocation of patients.
"We expect that this new, painless, disposable, wireless, glucose sensor technology will significantly improve diabetes monitoring worldwide," said John Peeters, founder and president of Gentag.
The new technology is protected by twenty-one issued and pending United States and international patents.
Shireen Dee is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shireen’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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