Design and Verification of an Optical System to Interrogate Dermally-implanted Microparticle Sensors



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Diabetes mellitus affects 25.8 million Americans (8.3%) and over 300 million people worldwide. Clinical trials indicate that proper management of blood glucose levels is critical in preventing or delaying complications associated with diabetes. Thus, there is a common need to monitor and manage blood glucose properly for people with diabetes. However, the patients? compliance for recommended monitoring frequency is low due to the pain and inconvenience of current standard finger-pricking tests. To promote patient adherence to the recommended self-monitoring frequency, non-invasive/ minimally invasive glucose testing approaches are needed. Luminescent microparticle sensor is an attractive solution. For these sensors to be deployed in vivo, a matched optical system is needed to interrogate dermally-implanted sensors. This research project investigated the light propagation in skin and the interaction with implants using Monte Carlo modeling. The results of the modeling were used to design an optical system with high interrogation and collection efficiency (40~300 times improvement). The optical system was then constructed and evaluated experimentally. A stable skin phantom mimicking the optical properties of human skin was developed as a permanent evaluation medium to minimize the use of animals. The optical properties of the skin phantom matched the maximum published values of human skin in scattering and absorption over the spectral range of 540~700nm in order to avoid overestimation of the capability of the system. The significant photon loss observed at the connection between the designed system and a commercial spectrometer was overcome using two optimized designs: a two-detector system and a customized low-resolution spectrometer system. Both optimization approaches effectively address the photon loss problem and each showed good SNR (>100) while maintaining a sufficient system resolution for use with fluorescent materials. Both systems are suitable for luminescence measurement, because broad bands of the luminescent spectrum are of interest. In the future, either system can be easily modified into a more compact system (e.g. handheld), and it can be directly coupled to an analog-to-digital converter and integrated circuits offering potential for a single compact and portable device for field use with luminescent diagnostic systems as well as implanted sensors.