Chemistry and Physics Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

[AA8.8] A Polymer-Based Optical Biosensor for Continuous Glucose Monitoring

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Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting: Materials for Optical Sensors in Biomedical Applications / Boston, MA

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Due to the significant health and economic costs caused by complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, a great deal of attention remains focused on the goal of developing a continuous in vivo glucose monitoring system. Such a system would have the ability to display and record blood sugar levels in real time, activate visual and/or audible alarms during hyper- or hypoglycemic events, and potentially work as part of a feedback loop along with an insulin pump. Optical biosensing methods are attractive for this application, but the direct detection of glucose is severely hindered by the lack of absorption features that can be easily resolved against the background of interfering species and strong light scattering by the skin. We report a proof-of-concept study on a novel biosensing platform that surmounts this problem by utilizing the optical properties of a biocompatible polymer sensitized to the presence of glucose. This material offers many advantages, including ease of processing and the ability to be functionalized via organic chemistry methods. Our proposed reagentless system makes use of the spectral changes in the polymer when its oxidation state is reversibly affected by the presence of glucose. As a biosensing platform, the system also has the potential to be adapted to detect other biologically relevant analytes. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under IGERT Grant No. 0221678 and NSEC Grant No. EEC-0425626

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