California-based Profusa has won a $7.5 million grant from the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office for further development of its tissue integrated biosensor technology.

The U.S. military sees value in the technology improving mission efficiency through real-time monitoring of combat soldier health status, according to the company.

"Profusa's vision is to replace a point-in-time chemistry panel that measures multiple bio­markers, such as oxygen, glucose, lactate, urea, and ions with a biosensor that provides a continuous stream of wireless data," Ben Hwang, PhD, Profusa's chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

Profusa's biosensors seek to overcome foreign body response by fully integrating within the body's tissue—without any metal device or electronics. The sensors are made of a bioengineered "smart hydrogel" that is similar to contact lens material, forming a porous, tissue-integrating scaffold. When exposed to light, the hydrogel is able to luminesce in proportion to the concentration of a specific chemical—oxygen, glucose, or another biomarker.

The biosensors are each only between 2mm to 5mm long and 200 to 500 microns in diameter. They are placed under the skin with a specially designed injector.

Profusa's first product, its Lumee sensor for measuring oxygen, is slated to debut in Europe this year, pending CE Mark.