Self-Cleaning Membrane for Implantable Glucose Sensors

An implantable sensor that allows diabetics to more effectively monitor their blood-sugar levels is a step closer to reality, thanks to Melissa Grunlan, associate professor in Texas A&M University's Department of Biomedical Engineering. Grunlan is developing a self-cleaning membrane that envelops an implanted glucose sensor, shielding it from the body's immune response that would otherwise render it nonfunctional. Made from a hydrogel (the same general type of material from which contact lenses are made), Grunlan's self-cleaning membrane is thermoresponsive, meaning it contracts and expands in response to changes in temperature.