Self-cleaning membrane to extend the lifetime of an implanted glucose biosensor. Academic Article uri icon


  • The lifetime and efficacy of a subcutaneously implanted glucose biosensor could be greatly improved by a self-cleaning membrane capable of periodic physical removal of adhered cells associated with the foreign body reaction. Previously, we reported a thermoresponsive double network nanocomposite (DNNC) membrane composed of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) and embedded polysiloxane nanoparticles. When the membrane was thermally cycled above and below its volume phase transition temperature (VPTT, ~33-35 C), the associated deswelling and reswelling, respectively, led to in vitro cell release. Herein, this membrane design was tailored to meet the specific demands of a subcutaneously implanted glucose biosensor, and critical functional properties were assessed. First, N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) comonomer increased the VPTT to ~38 C so that the membrane would be swollen and thus more permeable to glucose in the "off-state" (i.e., no heating) while residing in the subcutaneous tissue (~35 C). Second, glucose diffusion kinetics though the DNNC membrane was experimentally measured in its deswollen and reswollen states. A cylindrical DNNC membrane with dimensions considered suitable for implantation (1.5 5 mm, diameter length) was used to model the glucose diffusion lag time. In addition, the DNNC cylinder was used to observe dimensional changes associated with deswelling and reswelling. Noncytotoxicity was confirmed and self-cleaning was assessed in vitro in terms of thermally driven cell release to confirm the potential of the DNNC membrane to control biofouling.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Abraham, A. A., Fei, R., Cot, G. L., & Grunlan, M. A.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Abraham, Alexander A||Fei, Ruochong||Coté, Gerard L||Grunlan, Melissa A

publication date

  • December 2013