A 3D-printed glucose biosensor for use in wearable monitors has been created by Washington State University researchers. The work could lead to improved glucose monitors for millions of people who suffer from diabetes.
Using 3D printing, the WSU research 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. The WSU team’s 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.
Because it uses 3D printing, their system is also more customizable for the variety of people’s biology.
Because the 3D printing uses only the amount of material needed, there is also less waste in the process than traditional manufacturing methods.
The team is now working to integrate the sensors into a packaged system that can be used as a wearable device for long-term glucose-monitoring.