Role of porosity in tuning the response range of microsphere-based glucose sensors
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Luminescent microspheres encapsulating glucose oxidase have recently been developed as implantable glucose sensors. Previous work has shown that the response range and sensitivity can be tuned by varying the thickness and composition of transport-controlling nanofilm coatings. Nevertheless, the linear response range of these sensors falls significantly below the desired clinical range for in vivo monitoring. We report here an alternative means of tuning the response range by adjusting microsphere porosity. A reaction-diffusion model was first used to evaluate whether increased porosity would be expected to extend the response range by decreasing the flux of glucose relative to oxygen. Sensors exhibiting linear response (R(2)>0.90) up to 600 mg/dL were then experimentally demonstrated by using amine-functionalized mesoporous silica microspheres and polyelectrolyte nanofilm coatings. The model was then used for sensor design, which led to the prediction that sensors constructed from ∼12 μm microspheres having an effective porosity between 0.005 and 0.01 and ∼65 nm transport-limiting coatings would respond over the entire physiological glucose range (up to 600 mg/dL) with maximized sensitivity.
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