SERS Nanosensors for in vivo Glucose Sensing

Project: Research project

Description

The overarching goal of the present proposal is to lighten the burden (physical and psychological) that daily glucose checks represent for patients. Our objective is to fabricate very small and extremely sensitive sensors – nanosensors – that can continuously detect and measure glucose in living tissue over a long period of time (several months) without the need for drawing blood. This would represent a major advancement for diabetic patients compared to the current continuous sensors available on the market with a lifetime of one week. The second major advantage of the sensor we intend to develop is to directly detect glucose itself - not the products of glucose transformation - which require external reagents that add extra costs and steps.

We are confident this audacious objective is within reach. Our two research teams have a long history of collaboration, and have already developed two first-generation glucose sensors, including one tested in rats that demonstrated 17 days of action. The second sensor was developed by both teams, which worked synergistically on two critical aspects: (1) the design and development of sensors for very small glucose amounts to be detected and measured with great precision; (2) decorating the sensors with carefully designed molecules that capture glucose – and only glucose – and thus provide the most accurate readings in the shortest amount of time (less than two minutes). Based on this existing technical know-how, the two teams will work together on further improving their current sensors by improving the biocompatibility – that is making the sensors bio-‘friendly’ and minimizing adverse effects on the body – and ultimately bridge the gap between the laboratory and real-life patients.

The roadmap for this research program is as follows: (1) make the existing sensors biocompatible and in parallel develop a novel sensor based on already biocompatible materials; (2) thoroughly characterize these sensors for optimal glucose detection in biological conditions; (3) monitor glucose through the skin of small living animals (rats) for 3 months. Through an iterative development process, we will leverage the experience of the team and minimize the risks associated with this project. The resulting work will have important ramifications in diabetes management in particular and healthcare in general.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/168/31/19

Funding

  • U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (W81XWH-16-1-0375)

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Nanosensors
Glucose
Sensors
Rats
Glucose sensors
Medical problems
Biocompatibility
Biomaterials
Skin
Animals
Blood