Recent widely-accepted advances in electrochemical biosensor technology will be combined with the unique silicon microfabrication technology developed in this laboratory to produce low cost single-use disposable (consumable) devices for painless physiological measurements. The silicon devices will consist of a microneedle comparable in cross-section to a human hair integrated with a cuvette containing a miniaturized biosensor The analyte chosen for the proposed project will be glucose, because glucose biosensors are the most advanced and diabetic glucose self-testing is the largest existing biosensor market Opportunity. The combination of a biosensor with a silicon consumable to provide a practical technique for painless blood testing is not restricted to glucose, but is an enabling technology applicable to many other analytes. The resultant sampling and assay system will require a lower sample volume than current home-glucose testing instruments, provide a faster response and be insensitive to the blood flow pattern. By rendering insertion and removal completely painless and sharply reducing the cost, disposable integrated consumables employing electrochemical biosensor technology at its present state of development become commercially practical.
The largest commercial application for silicon biosensor consumables is diabetic blood glucose self-testing, which is currently a four billion dollar per year market. Other markets include emergency medicine, control of blood levels of therapeutic drugs, and physiological monitoring of many analytes for clinical and research purposes.