Develop technology platform to transform the diagnosing, monitoring and treating of opioid use disorders

Period of Performance: 08/01/2017 - 07/30/2018


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Mentor on the Go LLC
Principal Investigator


PROJECT ABSTRACT There are two big challenges to reducing the number of substance use disorders (SUDs) in the United States: 1) Almost 90% of the 21.7 million people who suffer from SUDs are never professionally diagnosed and never seek treatment [1] and 2) treatment for the small minority that does seek help is not very effective with relapse rates estimated to be between 65% and 90% within the first year after treatment, depending on the substance that is being misused [2]. The Clinical Addiction Recovery Institute (C.A.R.I.), a Mentor on the Go LLC company, aims to address both of those challenges by developing a continuous monitoring system based on an injectable, subcutaneously implanted biosensor, approximately the size of a grain of rice that can detect and monitor substance use byproducts in the interstitial fluid. The C.A.R.I system for detecting and monitoring substance misuse will integrate wearable sensor technology with an already developed mobile smartphone application that will enable physicians to more easily detect, monitor and treat substance misuse. Currently no other solutions exist that can detect multiple substances and measure them continuously over time. This Phase I project will focus on the detection of an opioid substance and will test the hypothesis that a minimally invasive injectable biosensor with a minimum lifetime of one month can successfully measure a biomarker needed to detect opioid use. Aim 1 of this project will develop a low- power electrochemical injectable biosensor that can communicate wirelessly with a wearable device and smartphone while Aim 2 will involve the selection and development of an electrochemical opioid assay for use in the biosensor. The results from these studies will provide not only the proof of concept that opioid use can be detected in interstitial fluid, but also the basis for the implantable biosensor component of the proposed C.A.R.I. system, which will be a vast improvement over the intermittent monitoring data that is currently available via self- reporting, urine screening, and blood testing. When fully developed, the proposed C.A.R.I. system will enable clinicians to be more precise with dosing and safety planning for opioid use treatment, thereby lowering relapse rates and improving treatment outcomes for patients.