High-performance intraocular biosensors from chitosan-functionalized nitrogen-containing graphene for the detection of glucose

Ruitao Zou, Suyan Shan, Libin Huang, Zhi Chen, Tom Lawson, Mimi Lin, Lu Yan*, Yong Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The noninvasive and real-time detection of glucose sugar from tears is promising for the early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes. However, its realization is a big challenge. A suitable biosensor electrode that can closely fit the eye and be electrochemically sensitive is still unrealized. In this work, nitrogen-doped graphene (N-G) was used as an ophthalmic electrode in a high-performance intraocular biosensor. The use of N-G has been reported elsewhere before as it is highly electroactive and so has a particular use in biosensors. We hereby present a novel procedure for making carboxylated chitosan-functionalized nitrogen-containing graphene (GC-COOH) by using a one-step ball-milling process. This process does not use toxic chemicals, flammable gases, or a high temperature. It is thus particularly easy to perform. The fabricated nanomaterial had a high electroactivity and was easily assembled as a glucose biosensor by the immobilization of glucose oxidase. The thus constructed biosensor has a high sensitivity at 9.7 μA mM-1 cm-2, a broad linear range at 12 mM, and a good detection limit of 9.5 μM. It was able to maintain this activity after a month of storage. We also report the intraocular use of this constructed biosensor. The as-prepared GC-COOH was found to be highly biocompatible to ophthalmologic cells such as corneal epithelial and retinal pigment epithelium cells. No change in the intraocular pressure or the corneal structure was measured in a New Zealand white rabbit model. The as-assembled sensor was worn by the animals for more than 24 h without undue impact. This result confirmed the biosensor's potential for intraocular application in the clinic. Its assembly into a useful sensor shown here has great potential to provide real-time monitoring of glucose levels in tear fluids of patients with high sugar levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020


  • corneal epithelial cells
  • glucose
  • intraocular wearable biosensors
  • nitrogen-doped graphene
  • retinal pigment epithelium cells


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