Profusa awarded $7.5M DARPA grant to work on implantable biosensors

A woman riding a bike
Courtesy of Profusa

Profusa has been awarded a $7.5 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Army Research Office. The grant will be used toward efforts to develop implantable biosensors that can continuously monitor multiple body chemistries.

The initial aim of the tech is to have continuous monitoring capabilities for combat soldiers’ health status with the end goal of improving mission efficiency. The grant also supports further development of the biosensor tech for real-time detection of a body’s chemical constituents.

"Profusa's vision is to replace a point-in-time chemistry panel that measures multiple bio­markers, such as oxygen, glucose, lactate, urea, and ions with a biosensor that provides a continuous stream of wireless data," said Profusa Chairman and CEO Ben Hwang in a statement.

Lumee sensor under the skin
A Lumee sensor--Courtesy of Profusa

These sensors are created using a bioengineered “smart hydrogel,” which Profusa describes as a material similar to a contact lens. The hydrogel makes up a porous, tissue-integrating scaffold that, when applied, promotes capillary and cellular in-growth from surrounding tissue.

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The sensor is linked to a light-emitting molecule that reflects the concentration of biomarkers such as oxygen or glucose.

Profusa’s first product is the Lumee Oxygen Sensing System. Lumee is a single-biomarker sensor for measuring oxygen and is currently pending a CE mark with the aim of being available in Europe this year. The sensor can be used to aid in the treatment of peripheral artery disease. It monitors local tissue oxygen, which can help clinicians maintain tissue oxygen levels throughout treatment and healing.

- here is the press release

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