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start sensing from its smallest form. The resetting agent is important so that when the gel comes into contact with glucose it can only expand and not shrink. If the gel does not start at a shrunken state, it can react to contact with glucose by either shrinking or expanding, said Zhang. If this were to happen, one specific level of glucose concentration would be represented by two different colors on either end of the spectrum, and the results would not be accurate. Braun and Zhang hope to eventually translate their sensor material into an actual sensor device. “Our possible plan would be putting the sensor material in a glass fiber, and then we can thread the glass fiber into the blood

stream through a needle,” said Zhang. He said they are excited about the contributions a device like this could make in  units. “The doctors in the , they really want to know blood glucose f luctuations of patients. Usually after surgery, injury or any type of traumatic event, patients’ blood glucose concentration can fluctuate really badly because of the body trying to respond to the damage that the patient is experiencing,” said Zhang. “With continuous glucose monitoring, the outcomes after surgery can be greatly improved,” he said. Bridget can be reached at

Technograph Volume 130, Spring 2015  
Technograph Volume 130, Spring 2015