The healthcare system and the pharmaceutical research are demanding high sensitive implantable devices for monitoring endogenous and exogenous metabolites to improve and personalize a therapy. Small rodents are commonly used animals for developing new treatments and research applications. However, since the reduced size of mice, the implantable system has to be small, lightweight and biocompatible.
We realized a fully implantable device with a remote powering system, for monitoring glucose and drugs, in small animals. The device is a heterogeneous system that integrates the sensing platform, a coil to receive power, two custom-designed ASICs, one off-the-shelf micro-controller, and an antenna for data transmission to an android interface. The implantable device hosts four electrochemical sensors, functionalized with nanomaterials and specific enzymes for drugs and metabolites. We developed a system of membrane to filter interfering substances and promote the biocompatibility.
We proved through an in-vitro characterization that the membrane retains enzyme activity up to 30 days, and in-vivo experiments in mice showed that after 30 days the packaging promotes the integration with the tissue. In-vitro calibrations and preliminary in-vivo tests in mice proved that the system can actively monitor glucose and the drug Paracetamol in real-time.
Camilla Baj-Rossi holds a Master degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor degree from Politecnico di Torino, Italy. She works as Ph.D. student in the Integrated System Laboratory (LSI), at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Her research focuses on integrated systems based on electrochemical biosensors for the detection of endogenous metabolites and drugs in animals. She is interested in the entire process of biosensor development from the design and the fabrication of the sensor to the packaging and the validation of the device.
She is currently at the Khademhosseini lab, in the Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, USA) to conduct part of her PhD thesis, until May 2015. At the Khademhosseini lab she is developing an electrochemical biosensor for the real-time monitoring of drugs and metabolites used for in-vitro toxicology tests on cell cultures.