Zewail City Scientists Develop Novel Nano-structured Biosensor for Glucose Detection

Egypt has over 7.8 million diabetic patient according to the International Federation of Diabetes’s (IDF) statistics in 2015. With proper diagnosis of the disease, patients can have access to the proper treatments and control programs.

In an interdisciplinary initiative led by Prof. Ibrahim El-Sherbiny, Joint Director of the Center for Materials Science (CMS) in collaboration with the Center for Nanotechnology (CNT) at Zewail City for Science and Technology, researchers developed a promising rapid, and highly efficient electrochemical biosensor mainly used for quantitative analysis of glucose concentration in patients’ blood samples.

“The newly developed biosensor is a disposable strip for blood glucose detection with high sensitivity,” said El-Sherbiny, “The proposed approach, after appropriate optimization, can also be useful for monitoring infectious diseases, detecting cancer, analyzing disease biomarkers, and monitoring the pharmacokinetics of drugs” he added.

Many of the natural polymers such as chitosan are known biocompatible and biodegradable that are used to support living organisms or enzymes for biosensor applications, but with limited conductivity that hinders their biosensing activities. The team synthesized core-shell chitosan-based nanoparticles with hyperbranches that carry metallic nanostructures like Silver and Gold, and metal oxides nanostructures like Manganese Dioxide and Zinc Oxide nano-rods to increase the biosensing function towards glucose molecules. The prepared new hybrid nanomaterial could be also used as an alternative for the commercial conductive inks.

The team used the developed biosensor to carry out quantitative analysis of glucose concentration in patient's blood samples in comparison to a reference method without any pretreatments for the bloodsamples. The results turned out to be almost the same with a more sensitivity than that obtained ones by the reference methods.

“The published study is a part of a project currently running at the CMS aiming to develop new microbial sensors and biosensors of high efficiency and sensitivity, and based on the obtained rapid responses and high electrochemical signals, a prototype could be easily fabricated in the very near future,” El-Sherbiny commented.

The team published their study titled “Manganese dioxide-core–shell hyperbranched chitosan (MnO2–HBCs) nano-structured screen printed electrode for enzymatic glucose biosensors” in the Royal Society of Chemistry Advances journal, on November 8, 2016.

The research team consists of Hala AbdelHaleem, Research assistant at CMS, Amr Hefnawy, Research assistant at CMS, Dr. Rabeay Hassan, Senior Researcher at CMS, Dr. Ashraf Badawi, Dean of Students affairs and Associate Professor at CNT, and led by Prof. Ibrahim El-Sherbiny, Professor of Nanomaterials, and Joint director of CMS.