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Technical Brief

Liquid Metal Ink Enabled Rapid Prototyping of Electrochemical Sensor for Wireless Glucose Detection on the Platform of Mobile Phone

[+] Author and Article Information
Liting Yi, Lei Li

Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering
and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China

Jingjing Li, Cangran Guo

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Medicine,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Jing Liu

Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering
and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China;
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Medicine,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: jliubme@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 11, 2014; final manuscript received September 1, 2015; published online October 8, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Rosaire Mongrain.

J. Med. Devices 9(4), 044507 (Oct 08, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-14-1290; doi: 10.1115/1.4031659 History: Received December 11, 2014; Revised September 01, 2015

Pervasive detection of blood glucose is rather critical for the real-time disease diagnosis which would provide valuable guidance for treatment planning. Here, we established a health care platform for this purpose through incorporating the glucose detection with liquid metal printed sensor and the smart phone monitoring system together. The liquid metal ink composed of bismuth indium stannic (BIS) alloy was identified as an appropriate sensor material to be quickly written or printed on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) substrate at around 59 °C to form desired electrodes. It thus eliminated the complicated procedures as usually required in conventional sensor fabrication strategies. The alloy electrodes were characterized via cyclic voltammetry to demonstrate their practical functionality. Further, unlike using the commonly adopted glucometer, a smart phone was developed as the data acquisition and display center to help improve the portability and ubiquitous virtue of the detection system. Glucose solution in different concentrations was assayed via this platform. It was shown that there is a good linear relationship between the concentration and the integral value of the curve recorded by the mobile phone, which confirms the feasibility of the present method. This quantitative point-of-care system has pervasive feature and is expected to be very useful for future low-cost electrochemical detection.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

The photos of BIS alloy electrodes: (a) the stainless steel mask for patterning and fabrication of electrode, (b) dimension of electrodes, (c) the basic design of the alloy electrode, and (d) the electrodes attached firmly to the PVC substrate

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the fabrication process of alloy electrodes: (a) the design of the mask and substrate, (b) the mask is placed on the substrate in full contact, and (c) the channel is filled with alloy by brushing. The substrate is on the heating platform with the temperature higher than 59 °C to keep the alloy in liquid state. (d) Detach the mask from the substrate, and the alloy electrodes are obtained when the substrate is removed from the platform.

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Fig. 3

The wireless detection system integrated with smart phone and related hardware. (a) Smart phone interface for operating the glucose detection. (b) The independent detection device communicating with smart phone via Bluetooth. The glucose detection interfaces on smart phone. (c) Screen for parameters setting. (d) The screen reminding user to drop the sample. (e) Screen of glucose reaction.

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Fig. 4

The operating principle of detection system based on mobile phone

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Fig. 5

The characterization of alloy electrodes. (a) Cyclic voltammograms of alloy electrodes in PBS at different scanning rates of 10, 50, 100, and 150 mV/s (a)–(d). The inset denotes the relationship between the peak currents with the scanning rates. (b) Cyclic voltammograms of the enzyme-modified BIS alloy electrodes in 20 mM glucose solution, unmodified electrodes in 20 mM glucose, and 0.1 M PBS (pH 7.0) at a 100 mV/s scan rate.

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Fig. 6

The calibration plots of electrodes based on mobile phone system and commercial glucometer. (a) Glucose solution with concentration of 5 mM, 7.5 mM, 10 mM, 15 mM, and 20 mM was tested using mobile phone system and commercial glucometer. (b) The BIS alloy electrodes were characterized in combination with the smart phone through determination of glucose concentration at 5 mM, 10 mM, 20 mM, 30 mM, and 50 mM, respectively.

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Fig. 7

The design of alloy sensor with multireaction zones. (a) The designed sensor has three reaction sections. (b) The test could be carried out from the first reaction part. The test area would be cut off and discarded when the reaction was accomplished.

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