Implantable sensors for real time
monitoring of various biological compounds, e.g., glucose, glutamate, etc.
Implantable therapeutic drug monitoring
(TDM) devices for drugs with narrow therapeutic indices or widely variable
Implantable sensors for veterinary use,
both for livestock (breeding, health management) and companion animals
(diabetes care, monitoring of seizure medications)
Sensors for point-of-care devices to
replace standard laboratory testing in hospitals, nursing homes, and in frontline
military medical units
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