Non-invasive, ultrasensitive detection of glucose in saliva using metal oxide transistors

Abhinav Sharma, Wejdan S. Alghamdi, Hendrik Faber, Yen-Hung Lin, Chien-Hao Liu, En-Kai Hsu, Wei-Zhi Lin, Dipti Naphade, Suman Mandal, Martin Heeney, Thomas D. Anthopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Transistor-based biosensors represent an emerging technology for inexpensive point-of-care testing (POCT) applications. However, the limited sensitivity of the current transistor technologies hinders their practical deployment. In this study, we developed tri-channel In2O3/ZnO heterojunction thin-film transistors (TFTs) featuring the surface-immobilized enzyme glucose oxidase to detect glucose in various biofluids. This unusual channel design facilitates strong coupling between the electrons transported along the buried In2O3/ZnO heterointerface and the electrostatic perturbations caused by the interactions between glucose and surface-immobilized glucose oxidase. The enzyme selectively binds to glucose, causing a change in charge density on the channel surface. By exploring this effect, the solid-state biosensing TFT (BioTFT) can selectively detect glucose in artificial and real saliva over a wide range of concentrations from 500 nM to 20 mM with limits of detection of ∼365 pM (artificial saliva) and ∼416 nM (real saliva) in less than 60 s. The specificity of the sensor towards glucose has been demonstrated against various interfering species in artificial saliva, further highlighting its unique capabilities. Moreover, the BioTFTs exhibited good operating stability upon storage for up to two weeks, with relative standard deviation (RSD) values ranging from 2.36% to 6.39% for 500 nM glucose concentration. Our BioTFTs are easy to manufacture with reliable operation, making them ideal for non-invasive POCT applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115448
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - Jun 15 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics


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