Development of a self-cleaning sensor membrane for implantable biosensors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fibrous tissue encapsulation may slow the diffusion of the target analyte to an implanted sensor and compromise the optical signal. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogels are thermoresponsive, exhibiting temperature-modulated swelling behavior that could be used to prevent biofouling. Unfortunately, PNIPAAm hydrogels are limited by poor mechanical strength. In this study, a unique thermoresponsive nanocomposite hydrogel was developed to create a mechanically robust self-cleaning sensor membrane for implantable biosensors. This hydrogel was prepared by the photochemical cure of an aqueous solution of NIPAAm and copoly(dimethylsiloxane/methylvinylsiloxane) colloidal nanoparticles ( approximately 219 nm). At temperatures above the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) of approximately 33-34 degrees C, the hydrogel deswells and becomes hydrophobic, whereas lowering the temperature below the VPTT causes the hydrogel to swell and become hydrophilic. The potential of this material to minimize biofouling via temperature-modulation while maintaining sensor viability was investigated using glucose as a target analyte. PNIPAAm composite hydrogels with and without poration were compared to a pure PNIPAAm hydrogel and a nonthermoresponsive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel. Poration led to a substantial increase in diffusion. Cycling the temperature of the nanocomposite hydrogels around the VPTT caused significant detachment of GFP-H2B 3T3 fibroblast cells.

published proceedings

  • J Biomed Mater Res A

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Gant, R. M., Hou, Y., Grunlan, M. A., & Cot, G. L.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Gant, Rebecca M||Hou, Yaping||Grunlan, Melissa A||Coté, Gerard L

publication date

  • September 2009