Minimally invasive technique for measuring transdermal glucose with a fluorescent biosensor

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Sheniqua Brown, Paige N. Zambrana, Xudong Ge, Dayanand Bagdure, Audra L. Stinchcomb, Govind Rao, Leah Tolosa, Minimally invasive technique for measuring transdermal glucose with a fluorescent biosensor, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry November 2018, Volume 410, Issue 27, pp 7249–7260,


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There is a need for blood glucose monitoring techniques that eliminate the painful and invasive nature of current methods, while maintaining the reliability and accuracy of established medical technology. This research aims to ultimately address these shortcomings in critically ill pediatric patients. Presented in this work is an alternative, minimally invasive technique that uses microneedles (MN) for the collection of transdermal glucose (TG). Due to their comparable skin properties, diffusion studies were performed on full thickness Yucatan miniature pig skin mounted to an in-line diffusion flow cell and on different skin sites of human subjects. Collected TG samples were measured with a L255C mutant of the E. coli glucose-binding protein (GBP) with an attached fluorescent probe. The binding constant (Kd = 0.67 μM) revealed the micromolar sensitivity and high selectivity of the his-tagged GBP biosensor for glucose, making it suitable for TG measurements. In both the animal and human models, skin permeability and TG diffusion across the skin increased with MN application. For intact and MN-treated human skin, a significant positive linear correlation (r > 0.95, p < 0.01) existed between TG and BG. The micromolar sensitivity of GBP minimized the volume required for interstitial fluid glucose analysis allowing MN application time (30 s) to be shortened compared to other studies. This time reduction can help in eliminating skin irritation issues and improving practical use of the technique by caregivers in the hospital. In addition, the his-tagged optical biosensor used in this work can be immobilized and used with a portable sensing fluorometer device at the point of care (POC) making this minimally invasive technology more ideal for use in the pediatric intensive care unit.