Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Biosensors
There is a growing need for advanced tools that enable frequent monitoring of biomarkers for precision medicine. In this work, we present a composite hydrogel-based system providing real-time optical bioanalyte monitoring. The responsive material, alginate-in-alginate (AnA), is comprised of an alginate hydrogel with embedded bioactive, nanofilm-coated phosphorescent microdomains; palladium tetracarboxyphenylporphyrin serves as an optical indicator, glucose oxidase as a model enzyme, and layer-by-layer deposited polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) as the diffusion barrier. Glutaraldehyde crosslinking of the nanofilms resulted in a dramatic reduction in glucose diffusion (179%) while oxygen transport was not significantly affected. The responses of the AnA hydrogels to step changes of glucose at both ambient and physiological oxygen levels were evaluated, revealing controlled tuning of sensitivity and dynamic range. Stability, assessed by alternately exposing the responsive AnA hydrogels to extremely high and zero glucose concentrations, resulted in no significant difference in the response over 20 cycles. These AnA hydrogels represent an attractive approach to biosensing based on biocompatible materials that may be used as minimally-invasive, implantable devices capable of optical interrogation. The model glucose-responsive composite material studied in this work will serve as a template that can be translated for sensing additional analytes (e.g., lactate, urea, pyruvate, cholesterol) and can be used for monitoring other chronic conditions.