Date of Completion

Spring 5-9-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos

Honors Major

Physiology and Neurobiology


Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Other Physiology | Physiology


Lack of linearity and sensitivity, oxygen dependence, biofouling and tissue inflammation hinder the development of implantable biosensors for continuous monitoring of glucose. Herein, we report the development of stacked outer membranes based on LBL/PVA hydrogels that improve sensor sensitivity, linearity, oxygen independence and counter biofouling and inflammation. While the inner LBL membrane affords tunable diffusivity, the outer PVA is capable of releasing anti-inflammatory drugs/tissue response modifying agents to counter acute and chronic inflammation, and to induce neo-angiogenesis at the implant site. Sensors were fabricated by immobilizing GOx enzyme on top of 50 μm platinum wires, followed by deposition of stacked LBL/PVA hydrogel membranes. The response of the sensors at 0.7V to various glucose concentrations was studied. Michelis-Menten analysis was performed to quantify sensor performance in terms of linearity and oxygen dependence. The interplay between sensor performance and inward glucose diffusivity was elucidated using (i) various LBL membranes and (ii) various freeze-thaw (FT) cycles of PVA. Incorporation of LBL/PVA stacked membranes resulted in an 8 fold increase in sensor linearity and a 9 fold decrease in oxygen dependence compared to controls. The enhancement in the sensor performance is attributed to (i) the oxygen storing capability of PVA hydrogel due to the formation of hydrophobic domains during its freezing/ thawing employed for its physical crosslinking and (ii) regulation of glucose flux by the inner LBL membrane. Such membranes offer significant advantages over presently available outer membranes in lieu of (i) their ability to control inflammation, (ii) their modulus that closely matches that of subcutaneous human tissue, (iii) non-necessity of reactive chemical crosslinking agents, (iv) tunable sensitivity and (v) supplemental storage of oxygen.