Single-Component Electroactive Polymer Architectures for Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensing

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Organic mixed ionic-electronic conductors (OMIECs) have emerged as promising materials for biological sensing, owing to their electrochemical activity, stability in an aqueous environment, and biocompatibility. Yet, OMIEC-based sensors rely predominantly on the use of composite matrices to enable stimuli-responsive functionality, which can exhibit issues with intercomponent interfacing. In this study, an approach is presented for non-enzymatic glucose detection by harnessing a newly synthesized functionalized monomer, EDOT-PBA. This monomer integrates electrically conducting and receptor moieties within a single organic component, obviating the need for complex composite preparation. By engineering the conditions for electrodeposition, two distinct polymer film architectures are developed: pristine PEDOT-PBA and molecularly imprinted PEDOT-PBA. Both architectures demonstrated proficient glucose binding and signal transduction capabilities. Notably, the molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) architecture demonstrated faster stabilization upon glucose uptake while it also enabled a lower limit of detection, lower standard deviation, and a broader linear range in the sensor output signal compared to its non-imprinted counterpart. This material design not only provides a robust and efficient platform for glucose detection but also offers a blueprint for developing selective sensors for a diverse array of target molecules, by tuning the receptor units correspondingly.