The UCSD Biosensors Lab, named for historical reasons, focuses on several concepts such as. The main focus is on the development and implementation of a long-term implantable glucose sensor for use in diabetes. One version of the sensor developed in this lab is now in human trials and may soon be available in the clinic, and an alternative sensor configuration for children is being explored. This project currently involves physiologic studies of implanted sensors, imaging and labeling of tissues, cells and vasculature, mass transfer modeling, biomaterial testing, design of a very small-scale telemetry system, signal processing and image/video analysis. The lab is also studying the possibility of using stem cells from the amniotic fluid as a therapy for ischemic injury, a common complication of diabetes. Blood glucose dynamics and the development of blood glucose control systems are being investigated based on insulin delivery devices and information from implanted sensors.
Implantable sensors are also being developed for other key metabolites such as lactate and oxygen and physiological signals such as heart rate to indicate the overall metabolic state. In addition to sensor development and physiologic studies, this project involves the adaptation of signal processing methods based on the combined sensor signals. There is also effort in this lab to understand the mechanisms of biocompatibility of biomaterials and implants. Two versatile in vivo models, hamster and sand rat, have been established for studying phenomena that occur at the implant-tissue interface using a window chamber device. An attempt to model these processes using advanced numerical methods in conjunction with information extracted from experimental histology data to predict oxygen levels and other metabolic processes.
The Biosensors laboratory runs in the Bioengineering Department at UCSD and is a part of the Jacobs School of Engineering.