Miniaturization of an Osmotic Pressure-Based Glucose Sensor for Continuous Intraperitoneal and Subcutaneous Glucose Monitoring by Means of Nanotechnology

This paper is published in Sensors, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal on the science and technology of sensors. Sensors is published semimonthly online by MDPI.


The Sencell sensor uses glucose-induced changes in an osmotic pressure chamber for continuous glucose measurement. A final device shall have the size of a grain of rice. The size limiting factor is the piezo-resistive pressure transducers inside the core sensor technology (resulting chamber volume: 70 µL. To achieve the necessary miniaturization, these pressure transducers were replaced by small (4000 × 400 × 150 nm³) nano-granular tunneling resistive (NTR) pressure sensors (chamber volume: 750 nL). For benchmark testing, we filled the miniaturized chamber with bovine serum albumin (BSA, 1 mM) and exposed it repeatedly to distilled water followed by 1 mM BSA solution. Thereafter, we manufactured sensors with glucose testing chemistry (ConcanavalinA/dextran) and investigated sensor performance with dynamic glucose changes between 0 and 300 mg/dL. Evaluation of the miniaturized sensors resulted in reliable pressure changes, both in the BSA benchmark experiment (30–35 mBar) and in the dynamic in vitro continuous glucose test (40–50 mBar). These pressure results were comparable to similar experiments with the previous larger in vitro sensors (30–50 mBar). In conclusion, the NTR pressure sensor technology was successfully employed to reduce the size of the core osmotic pressure chamber by more than 95% without loss in the osmotic pressure signal.
Received: 20 March 2023 / Revised: 2 May 2023 / Accepted: 3 May 2023 / Published: 7 May 2023