Foamy graphene forms the basis of a new method for measuring blood glucose

(ORDO NEWS) — British researchers have developed a new chemical method for determining the concentration of glucose in the blood using graphene foam. This technology will allow more accurate measurements, increase reliability and extend the shelf life of the sensor.

Diabetes is a common chronic disease in which the body’s ability to absorb glucose is impaired. As of 2016, the number of adults living with diabetes worldwide reached 422 million.

The disease develops either due to insufficient production of insulin (the hormone that controls blood glucose levels), or due to the inability to use it effectively. As a result, if diabetes is not controlled, over time, serious complications can occur that affect the nervous system, blood vessels, and other organs and tissues of the body.

In this regard, patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day using special devices throughout their lives.

The work of many modern glucose sensors is based on the interaction of a special enzyme with a glucose molecule, which generates an electric current that is recorded by the device. However, researchers from the University of Bath (UK), in collaboration with Integrated Graphene, have developed a new chemical sensor based on expanded graphene.

This method of measurement makes it possible to determine the concentration of glucose in a wider range compared to biosensors, which can be useful, for example, when monitoring the glucose content in the blood of newborns.

This is made possible by the presence of graphene foam, which provides a large sensor surface area. In addition, compared to biosensors, the new chemical sensor is more reliable and less affected by high temperatures and pH changes,

The new sensor is designed as follows: boronic acid molecules bind to a graphene foam substrate, after which a layer of an electroactive polymer is applied on top, which binds to boronic acid.

Now, if the resulting sensor is placed in a medium with glucose, it will displace the polymer and bind to boronic acid. This process can be fixed by measuring the generated electric current and thereby determining the concentration of glucose.

“In the future, we hope to be able to use our glucose detection method in the development of new technologies, such as wearable or implantable glucose monitoring systems similar to those used in the Eversense sensor,” said Simon Weekly, the first author of the article and the developer of the PhD sensor. in chemistry.

“Interestingly, this same detection method can be applied to a wide range of other targets, such as lactic acid. This is due to the versatile nature of the boronic acid receptor and gives us a common strategy for various sensor applications.”

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