While it’s recommended to not mix electronics and human bodies (most living bodies, for that matter), people still try. Having been commissioned to do just that, I’ve been working to bring together an ARM processor, 1.3 megapixel camera, and awesome UV-reactive flourescein.
The problem: glucose sensors work great, but under the assumption that new sample is getting to the biosensor. You can have a continuous monitor glucose sensor sticking in your side all day long, but how many hours can you guarantee accurate measurements? As such, this device by Invivomon, Inc. helps by measuring the sample quality. You must be gripping your seat with rampant expectation.
This is where the flourescein comes in: pump a certain amount in, and measure how much flourescein comes out. Bam! You’ve got flow quality and flow rate, if you’re clever. If you’re a bit confused, a more complete breakdown is this. A catheter stuck into a patient’s vein allows flourescein into the body (which is harmless), and allows flourescein and bodily fluid samples out. By measuring the UV reaction of this outflow, we can measure how much flourescein is coming out, and thus how much sample. Similarly, by bleaching the flourescein we can measure when the dip in UV reactance happens, and accurately predict flow rate. Such power!
Invivomon provided the board: ARM processor with what amounts to a cell phone camera, and attachments for samples to flow through some tiny tubes pass a calibrated lens setup. I wrote some software to control the camera, LEDS, memory, simple UI, and the LCD screen, which arguably was the most fun. Yeah, font design! Hey, function belies form, so what if it’s ugly: it works.