Hydrogel optical fibers for continuous glucose monitoring

Mohamed Elsherif, Muhammad Umair Hassan, Ali K. Yetisen, Haider Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Continuous glucose monitoring facilitates the stringent control of blood glucose concentration in diabetic and intensive care patients. Optical fibers have emerged as an attractive platform; however, their practical applications are hindered due to lack of biocompatible fiber materials, complex and non-practical readout approaches, slow response, and time-consuming fabrication processes. Here, we demonstrate the quantification of glucose by smartphone-integrated fiber optics that overcomes existing technical limitations. Simultaneously, a glucose-responsive hydrogel was imprinted with an asymmetric microlens array and was attached to a multimode silica fiber's tip during photopolymerization, and subsequent interrogated for glucose sensing under physiological conditions. A smartphone and an optical power meter were employed to record the output signals. The functionalized fiber showed a high sensitivity (2.6 μW mM −1 ), rapid response, and a high glucose selectivity in the physiological glucose range. In addition, the fiber attained the glucose complexation equilibrium within 15 min. The lactate interference was also examined and it was found minimal ∼0.1% in the physiological range. A biocompatible hydrogel made of polyethylene glycol diacrylate was utilized to fabricate a flexible hydrogel fiber to replace the silica fiber, and the fiber's tip was functionalized with the glucose-sensitive hydrogel during the ultraviolet light curing process. The biocompatible fiber was quickly fabricated by the molding, the readout approach was facile and practical, and the response to glucose was comparable to the functionalized silica fiber. The fabricated optical fiber sensors may have applications in wearable and implantable point-of-care and intensive-care continuous monitoring systems.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Boronic acids
  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Fiber optics
  • Photonics
  • Sensors


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