In the USA alone, 29.1 million people have diabetes. The condition causes a body’s blood sugar level to become too high and, as a result, diabetes patients need to regularly check their glucose levels. Often, they do this by using devices which monitor blood by pricking their fingertip.
Now, a team of researchers from Washington State University is working on a project to develop a 3D printed biosensor. They began their work after realizing just how limited current glucose monitoring methods are.
The biosensor has already shown promise for glucose monitoring. The researchers believe that through their monitor, patients will have a more effective way of tracking their glucose levels. They add that it is a lot more accessible and cost-effective too, thanks to 3D printing.
Yuehe Lin, one of the lead researchers for the project, explains the monitor by saying: “Our 3D printed glucose sensor will be used as wearable sensor for replacing painful finger pricking. Since this is a noninvasive, needleless technique for glucose monitoring, it will be easier for children’s glucose monitoring.”
The researcher’s 3D printed biosensor does not require finger pricking as it can monitor glucose through sweat or other bodily fluids. To make this possible, the team used a direct-ink-writing (DIW) process.
This 3D printing technique develops complex designs from electrically conductive nanoscale material to create flexible electrodes.
The use of DIW was important as it can produce high precision sensors which can pick up on glucose signals. Better yet, the 3D printing method only uses the material needed meaning costs are kept low.
Furthermore, through 3D printing, the researchers explain how they are able to customize the sensors to a patient’s exact biology. Arda Gozen, a faculty member of WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, explains: “3D printing can enable manufacturing of biosensors tailored specifically to individual patients.”
Currently, the plan is to develop this project to create sensors for long-term glucose monitoring and work the biosensors into a wearable system for patients. You can read more about the researcher’s work in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta.
Source: 3D Printing Media
License: The text of "Researchers Develop Needle-less 3D Printed Biosensor for Glucose Monitoring" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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