The EyeSense developed glucose sensor technology is based on a receptor molecule capable of specifically binding to glucose, and a competitor molecule which competes with glucose at the binding site of the receptor molecule. The receptor molecule builds complexes with glucose as well as with the competitor molecule. The complexes along with receptor molecule, competitor molecule and glucose are in a constant dynamic balance. Through labelling of the receptor and competitor molecules with differing fluorescent dyes, the building of complexes becomes measurable. Fluorescent dyess are dyes which when exposed to light of a particular color; emit light of a differing color. The exposure to light and simultaneously energy uptake is called “excitation”, the light given off is called “emission” or “fluorescence”.
One of the chosen fluorescence dyes, the energy donor, can transfer the excitation energy to the other fluorescence dye (energy acceptor) if they are in close vicinity. This transfer leads to a diminishing in the fluorescence emission of the donor dye. This only occurs when the receptor and competitor molecule build a complex. If the competitor molecule is displaced by glucose, no energy can be transferred from the donor to the acceptor and hence the donor fluorescence increases in intensity. The intensity of the donor fluorescence is therefore the measuring factor for the glucose concentration.
The glucose sensor is embedded in an aqueous hydrogel. This hydrogel is extremely biocompatible and is in the form of a very thin disc which is inserted by the ophthalmologist under local anesthetic. Once in place it measures the glucose concentration in the surrounding tissue fluid.