Printed, Flexible Lactate Sensors: Design Considerations Before Performing On-Body Measurements.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49689-7
This work reports the process of sensor development, optimization, and characterization before the transition to on-body measurements can be made. Sensors using lactate oxidase as a sensing mechanism and tetrathiafulvalene as a mediator were optimized for sporting applications. Optimized sensors show linear range up to 24 mM lactate and sensitivity of 4.8 μA/mM which normalizes to 68 μA*cm-2/mM when accounting for surface area of the sensor. The optimized sensors were characterized 3 different ways: using commercially available reference and counter electrodes, using printed reference and counter electrodes, and using a printed reference electrode with no counter electrode. Sensors intended for measuring sweat must be selective in the presence of sweat constituents. Thus, in addition to traditional characterization in pH 7.0 buffer, we characterized sensor performance in solutions intended to approximate sweat. Sensor performance in pH 7.0 buffer solution was not reflective of sensor performance in artificial sweat, indicating that further characterization is necessary between sensor measurement in pH 7.0 buffer and on-body measurements. Furthermore, we performed enzyme activity measurements and sensor measurements concurrently in five different salts individually, finding that while NH4Cl and MgCl2 do not affect enzyme activity or sensor performance in physiologically relevant ranges of salt concentration, NaCl concentration or KCl concentration decreases enzyme activity and sensor current. On the other hand, CaCl2 induced a nonlinear change in sensor performance and enzyme activity with increasing salt concentration.