Enzymatic glucose sensors. Improved long-term performance in vitro and in vivo.ASAIO J. 1994 Apr-Jun; 40(2):157-63.AJ
We studied the long-term in vitro and in vivo performance of enzyme electrode glucose sensors. Single commercially produced enzyme-active membranes remained functional for estimating glucose in vitro for 14-36 months. These membranes were implanted subcutaneously in rats for 1 year and, upon explanation, remained functional for measuring glucose in vitro. Sensors with these membranes plus an additional outer membrane with lower glucose permeability allowed glucose monitoring in the low oxygen tension of subcutaneous tissue. These sensors were surgically implanted in three nondiabetic dogs. Each sensor implant was coupled to a radio transmitter to allow continuous long-term glucose monitoring in these awake unrestrained dogs. In vivo sensor performance was evaluated by intravenous glucose infusion, with reference blood glucose determinations made in the clinical laboratory. These subcutaneously implanted sensors tracked changes in plasma glucose for up to 12 weeks. The in vivo initial response for three sensor implants was approximately 35 sec (n = 8). Sensor peak response to glucose after bolus infusion ranged from 3 to 14 min. Stability of sensor sensitivity within +/- 15% for more than 1 month was demonstrated in two of the dogs. Sensor lifetime was limited not by loss of enzyme activity, but by biodegradation of the outermost polyurethane membrane. The findings suggest that long-term continuous monitoring of blood glucose using a subcutaneously implanted enzyme electrode sensor may be possible.