Thermal Detection of Glucose in Urine Using a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer as a Recognition Element

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Glucose bio-sensing technologies have received increasing attention in the last few decades, primarily due to the fundamental role that glucose metabolism plays in diseases (e.g., diabetes). Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) could offer an alternative means of analysis to a field that is traditionally dominated by enzyme-based devices, posing superior chemical stability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of fabrication. Their integration into sensing devices as recognition elements has been extensively studied with different readout methods such as quartz-crystal microbalance or impedance spectroscopy. In this work, a dummy imprinting approach is introduced, describing the synthesis and optimization of a MIP toward the sensing of glucose. Integration of this polymer into a thermally conductive receptor layer was achieved by micro-contact deposition. In essence, the MIP particles are pressed into a polyvinyl chloride adhesive layer using a polydimethylsiloxane stamp. The prepared layer is then evaluated with the so-called heat-transfer method, allowing the determination of the specificity and the sensitivity of the receptor layer. Furthermore, the selectivity was assessed by analyzing the thermal response after infusion with increasing concentrations of different saccharide analogues in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The obtained results show a linear range of the sensor of 0.0194-0.3300 mM for the detection of glucose in PBS. Finally, a potential application of the sensor was demonstrated by exposing the receptor layer to increasing concentrations of glucose in human urine samples, demonstrating a linear range of 0.0444-0.3300 mM. The results obtained in this paper highlight the applicability of the sensor both in terms of non-invasive glucose monitoring and for the analysis of food samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4515-4525
Number of pages11
JournalACS sensors
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021


  • glucose sensing
  • heat-transfer method
  • molecularly imprinted polymers
  • non-enzymatic glucose sensor
  • non-invasive glucose monitoring

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