Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Biotech entrepreneur creates handheld glycerol sensor for precise personalised nutrition

By Nikki Hancocks contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | DragonImages
Getty | DragonImages

Related tags: personalised nutrition, biotech

A French biotech entrepreneur has created a handheld glycerol sensor currently being used by scientists and soon to be launched into the personalised nutrition market to help consumers reach their weight management and exercise goals.

Blood Glycerol​ levels change in response to physiological conditions, as well as physical exercise, making glycerol monitoring a helpful tool to assist in providing accurate personalised nutrition advice.

But Dr Cyril Torre, CEO of six-year young LSee, says current glycerol measuring kits on the market require specialised lab equipment for blood collection and sample preparation, and must be administered by skilled personnel.

"We believe that we could change lives and prevent diseases by simply tracking the impact of diet and exercise on every body, and that’s the reason why LSee has been created." 

Torre created the new LSee glycerometer based on a strip-type biosensor that enables the analysis of glycerol directly from a pinprick blood sample within just six seconds.

The new device enables companies to personalise physical activities and diet for optimal fat loss adapted to individual goals.

After running the French research and development centre ‘Inovarion’ since 2013, Torre created LSee as a subsidiary that could concentrate on the world of personalised nutrition and biosensor development. The device is designed using technologies developed at Inovarion​.

“After working in R&D for several years we felt it was important to be able to track physiological parameters to know if the diet and exercise choices we make are right for our bodies and our goals - that is really where knowledge is currently lacking,” ​explains Dr Torre.

“There is a clear need for an easy-to-use, cost-effective technology for the determination of glycerol concentration in blood.

“People know sugar impacts their body but they don’t know exactly how diet and exercise choice effect their own physiological responses.

The biosensor combines two technologies - bio-catalysis and electronics - to create an  electrochemical detector. The handheld device includes an electronic reader for signal amplification, processing and display and disposable electrochemical test strips.

So far, the performance of the biosensor has been found​ to be effective in both human and mouse samples.

LSee currently has 15 clients (research labs) and is building partnerships with B2C companies across Europe and the US with the hope of rolling out devices to consumers via personalised nutrition platforms in 2022.

Dr Torre can see the application being of particular interest in the areas of weight management and sports nutrition, with the company being split into three key areas – research, obesity treatment, and exercise response (named ‘DietSee Workout’).

But biosensor developments from LSee won’t end there, with future innovations planned that will concentrate on the prevention of sarcopenia.

“The company also plans to create hardware to analyse muscle growth and muscle loss in order to help detect and prevent sarcopenia. This is a widespread issue and a biosensor like this has the potential to change many lives.”


Related topics: Markets, Personalized Nutrition

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