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Feasibility analysis of an epidermal glucose sensor based on time-resolved fluorescence.


The goal of this study is to test the feasibility of using an embedded time-resolved fluorescence sensor for monitoring glucose concentration. Skin is modeled as a multilayer medium with each layer having its own optical properties and fluorophore absorption coefficients, lifetimes, and quantum yields obtained from the literature. It is assumed that the two main fluorophores contributing to the fluorescence at these excitation and emission wavelengths are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)H and collagen. The intensity distributions of excitation and fluorescent light in skin are determined by solving the transient radiative transfer equation by using the modified method of characteristics. The fluorophore lifetimes are then recovered from the simulated fluorescence decays and compared with the actual lifetimes used in the simulations. Furthermore, the effect of adding Poissonian noise to the simulated decays on recovering the lifetimes was studied. For all cases, it was found that the fluorescence lifetime of NADH could not be recovered because of its negligible contribution to the overall fluorescence signal. The other lifetimes could be recovered to within 1.3% of input values. Finally, the glucose concentrations within the skin were recovered to within 13.5% of their actual values, indicating a possibility of measuring glucose concentrations by using a time-resolved fluorescence sensor.

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