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A long-term implantable photoplethysmographic sensor system is proposed. The system employs an elastic cuff which is directly wrapped around an arterial blood vessel. The optically transparent cuff is equipped with light emitting diodes and a photo transistor including the technology of pulse oximetry. The sensor will permit real-time, continuous monitoring of important vital parameters such as arterial blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate over a long-term period in vivo. We emphasize on the specific requirements for design and instrumentation of the implantable sensor and discuss first in vitro data acquired with that new photonics-based sensor.