In his doctoral dissertation at Kalmar University in Sweden, Henrik Engström has designed biosensors for metering the concentration of, among other things, maltose in oat beverages. In the long run biosensors can be developed to monitor blood sugar in diabetics.
Biosensors can monitor rapid changes in concentrations of sugars if the interaction with the biological molecule in the sensor is fast enough. Henrik Engström studied interactions that, with the help of biosensors, are faster than what many other instruments normally measure, which opens the possibility of continuously monitoring changes in sugar concentration.
"By designing various biosensors, I have studied antibodies with the ability to interact and bind various types of sugar," says Henrik Engtröm. "I focused on developing biosensors that can register changes in the concentration of maltose. Maltose is used in the brewery business and other parts of the foodstuffs industry. It's the main sweetener in oat beverages."
Henrik Engström has done research on biosensors for determining the concentration of various types of sugar, using antibodies and fluorescence technology. These biosensors can continuously monitor changes in concentration because the antibodies interact with the sugars, thereby providing the biosensors with direct measurement data. Biosensors based on antibodies have the capacity today to be adapted for internal use, for example, placement under the skin, and together with fluorescence technology it is possible to read the measurement data from the sensor through the skin.
"Together with the industry we have evaluated a type of antibody that shows potential for future blood-sugar analyses in diabetics," says Henrik Engström. "Today there is a need among diabetics not to have to prick their fingers to check their blood sugar but rather to monitor the concentration with the aid of a sensor that does not require blood samples. Research in this field has the potential to considerably improve the situation, enhancing the quality of life for diabetics."
The dissertation is titled Development of Fluorescence-based Immunosensors for Continuous Carbohydrate MonitoringApplications for Maltose and Glucose.
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