Thanks to Chang-Soo Kim, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T, people living with diabetes may one day have an alternative to the daily routine of pricking their fingers to monitor their blood sugar.
Kim is developing a minimally-invasive “smart” sensor that provides continuous blood sugar monitoring and can be worn on the wrist like a watch, or on the hip like a pedometer.
Several sensor-based monitors already are on the commercial market. These sensors are implanted just under the skin and record glucose levels every few minutes. However, the monitors must be replaced every few days as they degrade and lose sensitivity.
Kim’s monitor could be worn for weeks at a time because of its unique ability to self-calibrate and correct itself.
“We believe we can figure out a way in the near future for automatic self-calibration of glucose biosensors during continuous monitoring,” Kim says. “This is expected to help develop a more stable and reliable continuous glucose monitoring technology in the future to minimize human intervention, such as periodic and cumbersome sensor withdraw and placement procedures.”
Kim’s research first was funded in 2004 by a grant from the National Science Foundation. In 2007, based on preliminary results from the NSF grant, Kim was awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health and now is working on a new method of one-point self-calibration in collaboration with David Henthorn, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, and Matthew O’Keefe, MetE’85, professor of materials science and engineering. Kim says the same techniques also are being applied to other biosensors used to monitor metabolites such as lactate and creatinine.