Friday, 01 August 2014
masthead+quote+image
Advanced search

Blood biosensor

Doctors could continuously monitor the characteristics of a critically ill patient’s blood using a new device being developed in the UK, reports Siobhan Wagner.

Doctors could continuously monitor the characteristics of a critically ill patient’s blood using a new device being developed in the UK.

The MicroEye, from Bedfordshire-based Probe Scientific, would fit inside traditional IV catheters inserted into the veins of intensive-care patients.

The device incorporates a semi-permeable membrane, which sits in the vein of a patient, and a biosensor located outside the body to measure blood characteristics such as glucose, potassium and urea levels.

The technology, which is still under development, recently received £1m worth of venture capital funding to bring it closer to commercialisation.

Neil Smith, chief executive of Probe, said the device begins to work when saline is flowed into the patient’s vein through the catheter. The membrane, which separates the stream of saline from the flowing blood in the vein, allows only certain parts of the blood not including red blood cells to pass through.

He said: 'We collect the analytes of interest such as glucose, potassium, lactate, urea and things the doctors are interested in. No red cells pass across so there is no infection risk passing across.’

The sample is then flowed out of the body through the saline solution and taken to a biosensor where it is analysed.

Smith said ideally the results would be displayed on the same screen a patient’s pulse and ECG is monitored.

Probe Scientific recently received £1m from a funding round led by Catapult Venture Managers and supported by National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts and existing shareholders and directors.

Smith said the funds will help the company integrate the MicroEye device with current ICU data and display systems. A large degree of focus will be put on the device’s biosensor.

He added: ‘There are biosensors that exist but obviously with our device being new they are not immediately available to just click and couple to our device. We have to build the linkage between them and the algorithm that displays the result.’

Smith said the sampling device that sits inside the catheter has already received a CE mark and Probe has sold units of them to sensor companies and researchers. ‘However, the really big market for us is in intensive care,’ he said.

Probe believes its recent funding will put it in a better position to develop the technology for this market and negotiate licensing deals.

Siobhan Wagner


Have your say

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

My saved stories (Empty)

You have no saved stories

Save this article

Digital Edition

The Engineer July Digi Issue

Poll

London Mayor Boris Johnson is lobbying for a £10 additional charge for diesel cars to drive into Central London by 2020, and for road tax on diesel cars and all pre-2006 cars to be increased, to counter air pollution. What option most closely matches your opinion on this?

Previous Poll

Europe's largest tidal array in the Pentand Firth off Orkney will eventually generate up to 86MW of power. What will it take for tidal energy to make an appreciable contribution to the UK's energy needs?

Read and comment on the results here