Enhancing the accuracy of subcutaneous glucose sensors: a real-time deconvolution-based approach

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2012 Jun;59(6):1658-69. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2191782. Epub 2012 Mar 23.


Minimally invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors can greatly help diabetes management. Most of these sensors consist of a needle electrode, placed in the subcutaneous tissue, which measures an electrical current exploiting the glucose-oxidase principle. This current is then transformed to glucose levels after calibrating the sensor on the basis of one, or more, self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) samples. In this study, we design and test a real-time signal-enhancement module that, cascaded to the CGM device, improves the quality of its output by a proper postprocessing of the CGM signal. In fact, CGM sensors measure glucose in the interstitium rather than in the blood compartment. We show that this distortion can be compensated by means of a regularized deconvolution procedure relying on a linear regression model that can be updated whenever a pair of suitably sampled SMBG references is collected. Tests performed both on simulated and real data demonstrate a significant accuracy improvement of the CGM signal. Simulation studies also demonstrate the robustness of the method against departures from nominal conditions, such as temporal misplacement of the SMBG samples and uncertainty in the blood-to-interstitium glucose kinetic model. Thanks to its online capabilities, the proposed signal-enhancement algorithm can be used to improve the performance of CGM-based real-time systems such as the hypo/hyper glycemic alert generators or the artificial pancreas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer Systems
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Blood Glucose