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By Beth Bacheldor

Mayo Clinic, Gentag Partner to Develop Wireless Sensors to Treat Obesity, Diabetes

The Mayo Clinic and Gentag have announced an agreement to develop wireless, wearable biosensors that leverage Near Field Communication (NFC) and other technologies to help fight obesity and diabetes. According to the two organizations, the system will allow researchers to monitor movement and develop treatments for obesity and related conditions.

A prototype NFC patch sensor
The Mayo Clinic's Micro-Miniature Transceiver chip will be combined with Gentag's tag technology, and will be integrated under license to create a new type of communication chip that combining NFC, body area network (BAN), long-range wireless communication and geolocation technologies. The resulting wearable patch sensors will be the size of a small bandage, according to the two organizations, and will be designed to be painless and disposable. The sensors will communicate with a closed-loop diabetes-management system compatible with cell phones. James Levine, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and obesity researcher, says his organization hopes that the patch biosensors will prove to be a game-changer, by helping to reduce the incidence of global obesity and diabetes. He expects the sensors will be accurate and inexpensive, and says they can be integrated into the care people receive.

A joint intellectual property (IP) agreement with the Mayo Clinic made the research and development of this tool possible, the organizations report. Gentag signed a patent-pooling agreement with the clinic for the management of IP related to wearable patch sensor and wireless communication technologies. Under the terms of the agreement, certain patent rights and technologies of both the Mayo Clinic and Gentag will be combined and commercialized.

The two firms will collaborate with third parties under license to bring the Mayo Clinic's expertise in medicine and clinical practices to the public, by the development of the next generation of wearable skin patch technologies from Gentag in the areas of diabetes and obesity management. More than 50 issued patents and technologies are being offered for licensing under the agreement.

Gentag has been trying to develop and commercialize a diabetes-related sensor since at least 2006 (see Gentag Foresees Cell Phones as Thermometers, Glucose Readers, RFID News Roundup: Gentag, Frank Sammeroff Ltd. Partner to Produce RFID-enabled Skin Patches and Researchers Finish Work on Needle-free Glucose Tester).

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