NovioSense Technology Platform
NovioSense combines robust enzymatic detection technology with innovative immobilisation and wireless sensor technologies to provide a flexible sensor platform for the non-invasive detection of biomarkers. NovioSense is a spring like device made of multiple wires that form a micro-electrochemical cell. The coiled form factor means that the sensor is flexible and can conform to the contour of the environment into which it is placed such as the curvature of the eye. The hollow core of the coil provides housing for nano-potentiostat and nano-transponder chips that allow us to carry out wireless measurements. Coated with a protective layer of soft hydrogel material the device forms a smooth interface between the sensor coil and the surrounding biological material. The flexibility and soft gel coating means that the sensor may be used as a non-invasive monitor device in a number of key diagnostic areas without discomfort.
Our first technology target is to develop a glucose monitor capable of detecting glucose levels in tear fluid. We aim to develop a clinical prototype exploiting glucose oxidase as the enzymatic biomonitor. Non-invasive wireless monitoring of glucose levels is a critical step forward in personalized care for many type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Glucose oxidase is present in a wide variety of natural sources such as red algae, citrus fruits and honey. Glucose oxidase is an enzyme that converts glucose to gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. This enzyme is routinely utilised in many diabetic test strips for the conversion of glucose into products that produce electrons that in-turn can be measured either by a hand held meter or an implantable device.
The tear fluid provides a rich source of biomarkers previously untapped for use in in-vitro diagnostics. The flow of tear fluid across the eye constantly refreshes the environment around the eye, consequently the tear film is a rich source of real time data that can be related back to key diagnostic markers such as glucose. By placing our micro coil in the conjunctival fornix a loose fold of skin between the lower eye and the eyelid, we can access a continuous flow of biomarkers as they wash across the surface of the eye and allowing us to monitor key biomarkers in real time.
The video shown above shows the NovioSense technology in action. The sensor can be seen comfortably fitting in the lower eyelid. The micro electrochemical cell is depicted by three wires. The first wire shown in green (the working electrode) is coated with an immobilized enzyme, the enzyme converts glucose into gluconic acid leaving the co-enzyme FAD reduced to FADH. A molecule of oxygen oxidises the co-factor and produces a short lived molecule of hydrogen peroxide that is converted on the electrode surface to water. The conversion of peroxide to water results in an electric current that can be measured using the two remaining electrodes (red and blue in the video). The device converts the electrical signal into a radio frequency signal that can transmit to the outside world via the antenna (yellow). The glucose sensor may then be connected into a closed loop system with an insulin pump to provide a truly closed loop system.