8.01 Low-Cost Organic Thin-Film Devices for Glucose Sensing

          University of Alberta

Research

Over 20 million people are estimated to suffer from diabetes mellitus in the U.S.A. alone, with an estimated cost in excess of one hundred seventy billion dollars in 2007, making glucose sensors a topic of keen interest. Furthermore, since glucose is produced in fermentation reac-tion processes other important applications can arise by monitoring those reactions. In particular, a glucose sensor can be used to monitor biomass fermentation processes, which are commonly used in the biofuel industry to grow microorganisms and convert waste materials (biomass, switchgrass, corn stove, and corn stover, etc.) to bioethanol. Biofuel is one of the promis-ing alternative clean energy sources because the plants capture CO2 and use the energy of the sun to grow. This proposal aims at creating miniaturized glucose sensing devices to be used in physiologic environments for medical and industrial applications. The advantage of these sen-sors relies on innovative transductions mechanisms and on low-cost, high-throughput fabrica-tion processes. Furthermore, they can be fabricated on flexible foils and hence capable of bending and stretching. This is, for instance, of particular interest for skin or body implantable sensors, which must reliably work under constant movement. At a first step the sensor will be used to monitor biomass to glucose conversion during the fermentation process for bioethanol production. At a second stage, the choice is to monitor glucose level in-vivo for diabetic patient. By linking it with drug “insulin” release design, it can benefit diabetic patients.

Publications

Melzer, K., et al: (2016). "Multi Ion-Sensor Arrays: Towards an “Electronic Tongue”." IEEE Nano Technology: pp. 475-478. doi: 10.1109/NANO.2016.7751505

Melzer, K., et al: (2016). "Enzyme assays using sensor arrays based on ion-selective carbon nanotube field-effect transistors." Biosensors and Bioelectronics 84: 7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.04.077

Melzer, K., et al (2014): "Selective ion-sensing with membrane-functionalized electrolyte-gated carbon nanotube field-effect transistors", Analyst, 2014, 139, 4947-4954. doi: 10.1039/C4AN00714J

Melzer, K., et al (2014): "Flexible electrolyte-gated ion-selective sensors based on carbon nanotube networks", IEEE Sensors journal doi.10.1109/JSEN.2014.2362679 

Team

Project team leader

Katharina Melzer
Chair of Nanoelectronics

Doctoral researcher

Katharina Melzer
Chair of Nanoelectronics

Principal investigator

PD Dr. Giuseppe Scarpa
Chair of Nanoelectronics

Principal investigator

Professor Jie Chen
University of Alberta