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Small. 2016 Apr;12(15):2085-91. doi: 10.1002/smll.201503509. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Carbon Nanotube Yarn-Based Glucose Sensing Artificial Muscle.

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Center for Self-Powered Actuation Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, South Korea.
The Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX, 75080, USA.


Boronic acid (BA), known to be a reversible glucose-sensing material, is conjugated to a nanogel (NG) derived from hyaluronic acid biopolymer and used as a guest material for a carbon multiwalled nanotube (MWNT) yarn. By exploiting the swelling/deswelling of the NG that originates from the internal anionic charge changes resulting from BA binding to glucose, a NG MWNT yarn artificial muscle is obtained that provides reversible torsional actuation that can be used for glucose sensing. This actuator shows a short response time and high sensitivity (in the 5-100 × 10(-3) m range) for monitoring changes in glucose concentration in physiological buffer, without using any additional auxiliary substances or an electrical power source. It may be possible to apply the glucose-sensing MWNT yarn muscles as implantable glucose sensors that automatically release drugs when needed or as an artificial pancreas.


artificial muscles; carbon nanotube yarns; glucose sensors; nanogels

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