A fluorescence-based optical affinity glucose sensor which offers the advantage of equilibrium reactions has been developed. However, our efforts to miniaturize its optical components is hampered by unavailability of a suitable solid state emitter. An absorbance-based sensor is investigated to overcome the miniaturization difficulty of the optical system. A suitable dye is selected and tagged to the dextran. A small and portable optical detector using a photodiode and a red LED is fabricated. Our preliminary in vitro, results indicates the feasibility of this approach as an ambulatory glucose sensor.