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Hope Comes in Small Sizes: 1mm Injectible Computer

A news tidbit today reminded me that hope can come in small sizes:

The University of Michigan just announced two prototypes that could vastly improve diabetes treatment: a 1mm injectable computer (designed to measure eye pressure in glaucoma patients) and a compact radio that could organize these tiny computers into a wireless sensor networks. Like any diabetes-obsessed parent of a kid with T1, my first thought was: implantable CGM – on its way! This is far from the market – the researchers are applying for a patent and looking for industry partners – but there are parallel efforts by MicroCHIPS that are tantalizing as well.

MicroCHIPS just started (Feb. 2011) clinical trials of an implanted osteoporosis drug delivery device with the goal of eliminating painful daily injections. Sound like a familiar problem? 🙂 The device holds tiny doses of a drug inside reservoirs that can pop open on a pre-programmed schedule or via a handheld wireless device. The device can also hold an array of sensors that could be exposed in the body to detect blood sugar level – an implanted CGM, the “Illume™”, which would last months/years in the body. They received $16.5 million in funding for research into this in 2010, with trials planned to start this year. Fingers crossed!

Aside from being key part of an artificial pancreas, an accurate implanted CGM would give diabetics’ fingers a break. Last night we had a two-hour long fight with low blood sugar (rebound effect after a cold), which had us pricking Luke’s fingers every 5-10 minutes:



Carbs (juice)



6 (2 oz. juice)



(100 pt. drop in 15 min?!)

13 (4 oz. juice)



11 (3 oz. juice)






11 (3 oz juice)





138 (whew)


Poor guy was up until 11pm, with his parents pouring sugar into him – the perverse things diabetes makes you do to a toddler!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. oh my goodness this was us the other week! It was crazy and i was so worried!! I was devastated when I had to test him so often. On another note. I love how you find out all this great new info! THANKS for sharing

    February 26, 2011
    • I saw your post about glucagon – very scary! Hope you guys have a good stretch without those scary lows!

      February 27, 2011

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