Nano Science and Technology Institute

Sensor detects glucose in saliva and tears for diabetes testing

August 23, 2012 01:00 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Researchers have created a new type of biosensor that can detect minute concentrations of glucose in saliva, tears and urine

Story content courtesy of Purdue University, US

“It’s an inherently non-invasive way to estimate glucose content in the body,” said Jonathan Claussen, a former Purdue University doctoral student and now a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. “Because it can detect glucose in the saliva and tears, it’s a platform that might eventually help to eliminate or reduce the frequency of using pinpricks for diabetes testing. We are proving its functionality.”

The novel sensor has three main components: layers of nanosheets resembling tiny rose petals made of a material called graphene, which is a single-atom-thick film of carbon; platinum nanoparticles; and the enzyme glucose oxidase.

The technology is able to detect glucose in concentrations as low as 0.3 micromolar, far more sensitive than other electrochemical biosensors based on graphene or graphite, carbon nanotubes and metallic nanoparticles, notes Claussen.

In addition to diabetes testing, the technology might be used for sensing a variety of chemical compounds to test for other medical conditions.

The research has been funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.

 

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