The Norwegian health tech company, which has been listed on the Oslo stock exchange since 2018, has developed the smallest glucose sensor in the world for those diagnosed with diabetes.

The Sencell senor, which is the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin and currently relies on technology based on biological components. The current components while functional have significant scope for enhancement, for example the stability and shelf-life are areas for improvement.

Professor Tony James, Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, is working with Lifecare to provide expertise for advancing the implantable and minimally invasive glucose sensor. He is developing glucose specific chemical receptors which will replace the existing biobased receptors to be more reliable within the sensing sphere.

This will improve the quality assurance of Lifecare’s flagship product for diabetes patients – not only in terms of reliability but also cost efficiency, by halving the price. Sustainability will also be improved with the senor needing to be replaced every six months as opposed to every few weeks.

Professor James initially met Andreas Pfuetzner, CSO of Lifecare, just prior to the pandemic in August 2019. He says:

Andreas was stopping off in London in 2019 for a business trip and I was fortunate to meet with him at our then Pall Mall office to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration. It was clear that the technology was less than perfect for their glucose sensor, and I was able to help address their challenges through the development of a new chemical system. It is exciting to be moving forwards with the product which will hugely impact those who suffer from diabetes.

Dr Jordan Gardiner, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, has been working with Professor James and Lifecare since January 2020. He continued to work on the chemical sensors in the lab when they reopened following lockdown.

Joacim Holter, CEO at Lifecare AS which is dedicated to R&D of medical sensors for health monitoring, says:

Advancing our nano-pressure senor system from biological to chemical receptors for glucose monitoring is very much welcomed at Lifecare AS. Our goal of contributing to help those with diabetes, which accounts for 537 million people globally, is becoming more or a reality as a result of the world-class scientific expertise from the University of Bath.

The Lifecare team, which has just opened a UK head office in Bath, was recently at the University for a collaboration meeting. This included the Technology Transfer Office, led by Dr Phil Brown in Research and Innovation Services (RIS) at the University, which is supporting the innovative partnership.

They are also in discussion with SETsquared Bath, part of the SETsquared enterprise partnership – the global #1 ranked university business incubator for the third consecutive time from UBI Global – to explore opportunities through the SETsquared Scale-Up Programme for business growth through collaborative R&D funding or private investment.

Going forwards, the research team intends for the senor system to be advanced beyond continuous monitoring for diabetes patients and applied to other health-related conditions in the global market.

See the Lifecare press release on the UK company published on Oslo stock exchange (Euronext) 8 November 2022.