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Profusa wins $7.5m DARPA Grant for Implantable Biosensors

Implantable Bionsensor (Image Credit: Profusa)

San Francisco-based tissue-integrated sensor maker Profusa said today it won a $7.5 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office for the development of implantable biosensors.

The new sensors will be designed for the simultaneous, continuous monitoring of multiple body chemistries, the company said, with their initial use slated to provide real-time monitoring of combat soldier’s health status.

“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. DARPA’s mission is to make pivotal investments in breakthrough tech­nologies for national security. We are gratified to be awarded this grant to accelerate the development of our novel tissue-integrating sensors for application to soldier health and peak performance,” CEO Ben Hwang said in prepared remarks.

The biosensors are placed just under the skin with a specially designed injector, Profusa said. Each sensor is a flexible fiber, between 2 and 5 mm long, composed of “smart hydrogel,” and are designed to be integrated into the body’s tissue to overcome the foreign body response for more than 1 year, the company said.

“Long-lasting, implantable biosensors that provide continuous measurement of multiple body chemistries will enable monitoring of a soldier’s metabolic and dehydration status, ion panels, blood gases, and other key physiological biomarkers. Our ongoing program with Darpa builds on Profusa’s tissue-integrating sensor that overcomes the foreign body response and serves as a technology platform for the detection of multiple analytes,” CTO Natalie Wisniewski said in a prepared statement.

In April, Profusa saidit won a $1.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research program.

Funding is slated to help support the company’s fast-tracked Phase I and Phase II studies of its Lumee tissue-integrated biosensors designed for continuous oxygen monitoring to improve outcomes in patients with peripheral artery disease.

Phase I of the grant will fund safety studies of Lumee, Profusa said, and Phase II is slated to fund a clinical study of the company’s tech at the University of California San Francisco. Profusa said the grant is the 2nd fast-track small business grant it has received from the NHLBI to develop its tissue-integrated oxygen biosensor for PAD patients.

Source: Mass Device