Scientists have developed a 3D-printed glucose biosensor for use in wearable monitors.
Continuous glucose monitoring systems are an alternative, but they are not cost effective, according to the research published in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta.
Researchers have been working to develop wearable, flexible electronics that can conform to patients' skin and monitor the glucose in body fluids, such as in sweat.
Using 3D printing, the team developed a glucose monitor with much better stability and sensitivity than those manufactured through traditional methods.
The researchers used a method called direct-ink-writing (DIW), that involves printing "inks" out of nozzles to create intricate and precise designs at tiny scales.
They printed out a nanoscale material that is electrically conductive to create flexible electrodes.
The technique allows a precise application of the material, resulting in a uniform surface and fewer defects, which increases the sensor's sensitivity.
The researchers found that their 3D-printed sensors did better at picking up glucose signals than the traditionally produced electrodes.
Since it uses 3D printing, the system is also more customisable for the variety of people's biology, researchers said.
"This can potentially bring down the cost," said Gozen.
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