Available Technology

An Implantable Glucose Sensor Based on Single Walled Carbon Nanotube Fluorescence

This technology provides a new method for sensing biomolecules by using single-walled carbon nanotube fluorescence.
Molecular detection using near-infrared light between 0.9 and 1.3 eV has important biomedical applications because of greater tissue penetration and reduced auto- fluorescent background in thick tissue or whole-blood media. Carbon nanotubes have a tunable near-infrared emission that responds to changes in the local dielectric function but remains stable to permanent photo-bleaching. Here, the synthesis and successful testing of solution-phase, near-infrared sensors, with β-D-glucose sensing as a model system, is presented. The current technology uses single-walled carbon nanotubes that modulate their emission in response to the adsorption of specific biomolecules. Through the use of non-covalent functionalization, adsorbed electroactive species can react selectively with a target analyte to modulate the fluorescence of the nanotube. Carbon nanotubes are excellent NIR f1uorophores with good photo-stability and tunable excitation and emission wavelengths which are dependent upon the nanotube’s geometric structure. NIR excitation and emission in such a nanoscale device allows for greatly enhanced penetration and negligible auto-fluorescence encountered in thick tissue or unseparated blood samples - thus allowing for highly accurate, real time in vivo sensing. Proof of concept has been demonstrated with a glucose sensor in blood serum. It is envisioned that this sensor could be implanted into a patient and be activated and read by a NIR excitation and detection instrument fashioned into a "watch-like" device. Beyond glucose sensors, this technology suggests new opportunities for nanoparticle optical sensors that operate in strongly absorbing media of relevance to medicine or biology.
Real time biofeedback capabilities - Can be used in strongly scattering media - Enhanced penetration (centimeters) and negligible auto-fluorescence in thick tissue or blood - Not susceptible to photo-bleaching - SWCNTs exhibit good photo-stability - Multi-channeled sensors are possible in order to detect numerous compounds simultaneously
Michael Strano
Lab Representatives
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