Biolinq (formerly Electrozyme) has developed an intradermal biosensor, in the form of a low-profile skin patch, that can provide actionable feedback on how the body reacts to dietary choices, physical activity, and stress. Founded in 2012 by Joshua Windmiller, PhD, and Jared Tangney, PhD, Biolinq aims to augment conventional wearable sensors with added dimensions of rich chemical information.
Biolinq got its start in the UC San Diego Nanobioelectronics Lab where Windmiller, then a PhD candidate, researched biomarker panels and assays that could help identify and treat battlefield injuries without drawing blood. With funding from the Office of Naval Research, Windmiller focused on measuring biomarkers on and within the skin.
Windmiller knew he was on to something and wanted to move from traditional academia into applied engineering where, he said, “My feeling of self-worth emanates from my desire to develop a product that helps improve the health and well-being of those around me.” He met Tangney, and the two like-minded partners decided to form Biolinq. But first they took a business/entrepreneur sequence at the UC Jacobs School of Engineering. “It was very challenging,” recalled Windmiller, “a complete 180 degrees.”
A wearable biosensor from Windmiller’s PhD project eventually evolved into the Biolinq technology. The intradermal biosensor takes readings of the body from the chemicals found in the viable dermis. The sensor currently is directed at measuring glucose, which has profound implications in the management of Type I & II diabetes. Glucose levels measured by Biolinq’s skin-applied biosensor are transmitted continuously to the wearer’s connected mobile (or wearable) device.
The biosensor device, intended for 7-day wear after which it is discarded, will be sold and developed by exclusively by Biolinq.
“The biosensors collect information and return feedback to the wearer in real time so that the individual can take corrective action, such as administering insulin or ingesting carbohydrates” said Windmiller. “The sensor does this minimally-invasively, without accessing blood or permeating the nerve layer and hence there’s no pain associated with application or wear of the device.”
Individuals with Type I diabetes currently undergoing painful fingerstick blood draws or who wear subcutaneously-implanted needle-based sensors to obtain glucose levels have expressed interest in the Biolinq sensor. But Windmiller strives to eventually reach anyone with Type II diabetes.
Biolinq was named a 2014 “Cool Company” by the San Diego Venture Group, and growing interest in wearable technology has brought high-profile media attention to the company; Consumer Reports, Computerworld, and U/T San Diego have all spotlighted the Biolinq technology. In December 2014, Biolinq garnered a Most Innovative Product Award in the Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies.
So far, Biolinq has raised $1.25 million in investments, including $250,000 from Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas mavericks NBA franchise, and secured nearly $3M in SBIR grants from the National Institutes of Health. The San Diego, CA-based company is currently transitioning to clinical validation of its technology, according to Windmiller, in conjunction with a third party. Commercialization is anticipated in the 2019-2020 timeframe.
6191 Cornerstone Court East, Suite 109, San Diego, CA 92121
Tel: (619) 289-9692
Jared Tangney, PhD – CEO & Co-founder
Joshua Windmiller, PhD – CTO & Co-founder
Joseph Wang, PhD
SAIC Endowed Chair
Chair of Nanoengineering