A continuous extracorporeal monitoring system for blood glucose employing an electrochemical sensor is described. The sensor, about the size of a nickel, is rapid, is specific for glucose, generates its own power, and consists of two galvanic oxygen electrodes. Over one oxygen electrode is affixed a plastic matrix to which glucose oxidase is covalently bound; a blank matrix is over the other, which serves as a reference. Oxygen is consumed in the glucose-oxidase-containing matrix, decreasing the current from the underlying oxygen electrode. The current decrease is nonlinearly proportional to the glucose concentration.
The sensor is clamped between small blocks of plastic fitted with inlet and outlet nipples so that blood pumped from the animal passes over the two electrodes and thence to an automated chemical analysis for comparison. Blood is collected and anticoagulant added in a double-lumen catheter. Blood is withdrawn at the rate of 1 cc. per hour.
Results obtained by use of the system in rabbits are reported. The capacity of the system to continuously monitor changes in blood glucose produced by repeated glucose tolerances is shown in hypo-, normo-, and hyperglycemic animals. Some properties of the system and its calibration are discussed.