Use of a subcutaneous glucose sensor to detect decreases in glucose concentration prior to observation in blood

Anal Chem. 1996 Nov 1;68(21):3822-6. doi: 10.1021/ac960069i.


The development of a hypoglycemic alarm system using a subcutaneous glucose sensor implies that a decrease in blood glucose is rapidly followed by a decrease in the signal generated by the sensor. In a first set of experiments the linearity and the kinetics of the response of sensors implanted in the subcutaneous tissue of normal rats were investigated during a progressive increase in plasma glucose concentration: the sensitivities determined between 5 and 10 mM and between 10 and 15 mM were not significantly different, and a 5-10 min delay in the sensor's response was observed. In a second set of experiments, performed in diabetic rats, the kinetics of the decrease in subcutaneous glucose concentration following insulin administration was monitored during a decrease in plasma glucose level, from 15 to 3 mmol/L. During the 20 first min following insulin administration, the sensor monitored glucose concentration in subcutaneous tissue with no lag time. Subsequently, the decrease in the estimation of subcutaneous glucose concentration preceded that of plasma glucose. This phenomenon was not observed when the same sensors were investigated in vitro during a similar decrease in glucose concentration and may be due to a mechanism occurring in vivo, such as the effect of insulin on glucose transfer from the interstitial space to the cells surrounding the sensor. It reinforces the interest of the use of implantable glucose sensors as a part of a hypoglycemic alarm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Scintillation Counting
  • Seawater
  • Thorium / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*


  • Water Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Thorium