A team of researchers at Penn State has reported the design and fabrication of a long-term stable and highly sensitive flexible electrochemical sensor based on nanocomposite-modified porous graphene by facile laser treatment for detecting biomarkers such as glucose in sweat.
The laser-reduced and patterned stable conductive nanocomposite on the porous graphene electrode provides the resulting glucose sensor with an excellent sensitivity of 1317.69 µA mm−1 cm−2 and an ultra-low limit of detection of 0.079 µm. The sensor can also detect pH and exhibit extraordinary stability to maintain more than 91% sensitivity over 21 days in ambient conditions. Taken together with a temperature sensor based on the same material system, the dual glucose and pH sensor integrated with a flexible microfluidic sweat sampling network further results in accurate continuous on-body glucose detection calibrated by the simultaneously measured pH and temperature.
The low-cost, highly sensitive, and long-term stable platform could facilitate the early identification and continuous monitoring of different biomarkers for non-invasive disease diagnosis and treatment evaluation.
The researchers said sweat is a rich source of biomarkers, which are substances that indicate the state of health or disease in the body. However, measuring biomarkers in sweat is not easy, as they are present in very low concentrations and vary depending on factors such as exercise, diet, and environment. Previous sweat sensors have faced limitations such as low sensitivity, limited surface area, and poor stability.