A Medical Device Daily

Georgetown University (Washington), Gentag (also Washington) and Science Applications International (SAIC; San Diego), have combined forces to develop a non-invasive method for glucose measurement. The three agreed to combine their respective intellectual property (IP) and expertise to create a new method to monitor glucose, using disposable skin patches with wireless sensors and cell phones.

The resulting products could eliminate the need for finger pricking with lancets to draw blood for people of all ages with diabetes.

"This alliance provides an excellent example of cooperation between academia and industry to bring creative healthcare solutions to the marketplace," said Claudia Stewart, VP of technology commercialization at Georgetown.

The combined technology will enable the development of a unique new platform and approach for glucose monitoring and insulin delivery using cell phones. One potential market application could be a disposable, wireless skin patch that measures glucose levels and reports those levels to a cell phone that could also wirelessly control an insulin pump.

By using soft, flexible skin patches, combined with new sensor-chip technology, the traditional pain and discomfort of the current "finger-prick" technology could be dramatically reduced or eliminated. The patches would be designed to provide readings once every hour for a 24-hour period. Using cell phones as readers would allow for convenience of a device many already use and are familiar with, as well as many other benefits, including emergency relocation 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.

With funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Department of Defense, John Currie, a professor of physics and director of Georgetown Advanced Electronics Laboratory (GAEL); Mak Paranjape, an associate professor of physics and researcher at GAEL Health Microsystems at Georgetown, and SAIC researchers Thomas Schneider and Robert White, who worked in the area of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), initially developed the skin patch technology to monitor the status of soldiers in a battlefield.

In other agreement news:

• Delcath Systems (New York) reported that the Atlantic Melanoma Center of Atlantic Health (Morristown, New Jersey) has joined Delcath's Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of inoperable metastatic melanoma in the liver using the company's percutaneous hepatic perfusion (PHP) system for the isolated, high dose delivery of the anti-cancer agent melphalan. Atlantic is the fifth center in this multi-center study testing the Delcath System.

Delcath and Atlantic Health have entered into a clinical research agreement to join the National Cancer Institute-led study. The PHP treatments will be performed at Morristown Memorial Hospital (Morristown, New Jersey).