Blood analyte sensing using fluorescent dye-loaded red blood cells

Sarah C. Ritter, Xiaole Shao, Nicholas Cooley, Mark A. Milanick, Timothy E. Glass, Kenith E. Meissner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Measurement of blood analytes provides crucial information about a patients health. Some such analytes, such as glucose in the case of diabetes, require long-term or near-continuous monitoring for proper disease management. However, current monitoring techniques are far from ideal: multiple-per-day finger stick tests are inconvenient and painful for the patient; implantable sensors have short functional life spans (i.e., 3-7 days). Due to analyte transporters on red blood cell (RBC) membranes that equilibrate intracellular and extracellular analyte levels, RBCs serve as an attractive alternative for encapsulating analyte sensors. Once reintroduced to the blood stream, the functionalized RBCs may continue to live for the remainder of their life span (120 days for humans). They are biodegradable and biocompatible, thereby eliminating the immune system response common for many implanted devices. The proposed sensing system utilizes the ability of the RBCs to swell in response to a decrease in the osmolarity of the extracellular solution. Just before lysis, they develop small pores on the scale of tens of nanometers. While at low temperature, analyte-sensitive dyes in the extracellular solution diffuse into the perforated RBCs and become entrapped upon restoration of temperature and osmolarity. Since the fluorescent signal from the entrapped dye reports on changes in the analyte level of the extracellular solution via the RBC transporters, interactions between the RBCs and the dye are critical to the efficacy of this technique. In this work, we study the use of a near infrared pH sensitive dye encapsulated within RBCs and assess the ability to measure dye fluorescence in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XIV
Subtitle of host publicationToward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
ISBN (Print)9780819498649
StatePublished - 2014
EventOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XIV: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 3 2014Feb 6 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XIV: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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