Diabetes cannot be cured but it can be managed. Its managementbecomes difficult when a patient has to monitor it every day through piercinghis or her finger to check the blood sugar level. Now an international team ofresearchers hasself-powered glucose biosensor technology base device that canmeasure the blood sugar level through saliva samples also. This device can workinside the body without using any external electrical energy.  

Continuous monitoring of fluctuatingsugar level in blood is often required for patients with diabetes.Implantable glucose biosensors could mitigate the painful finger-prickingprocess. However, the electricity requirement for the implantableglucose-sensing devices is the major challenge, making the implantation acomplicated process.

“The team has demonstrated alinear response to glucose at concentrations relevant for non-diabetic anddiabetic saliva. The sensor will be useful for the quick, accurate andearly detection of abnormalities in metabolism that helps monitor,control and prevent many metabolic disorders, including diabetes” said DrP. Tamilarasan, Scientist and research team member, Council of Scientific andIndustrial Research - Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CERI).

Any implantable electrical or electrochemical device requires electrical energy for its operation. Producing electricity inside the human body is a challenging task. This complete device can function inside the body without external electricity supply. In this technology, an electron-transporting n-type semiconductor polymer and an enzyme are used to extracts electrons proportional to glucose level in bodily fluid. The polymer based electrode that can be used for glucose sensing as well as electricity generation. On the other hand, an enzymatic fuel cell using same materials has been developed to generate electricity using the glucose in bodily fluids. Glucose is sensed by a transistor made up of the polymer which is powered by the enzymatic fuel cell made up of the same polymer electrode using glucose as a fuel.

The generated energy issufficient enough to operate an organic electrochemical transistortype glucose sensor. The enzymatic fuel cell could be utilise glucoseto power other implantable electronic devices.

Currently, the research team has developed the materials anddemonstrated its operation quantitatively and qualitatively. Further studies ondevice design, biocompatibility and in-vivo characterizations may lead thetechnology towards practical application.


(India Science Wire)

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