, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 285–288 | Cite as

Comparative Performance of Different Nanostructured Electrochemical Sensors on Insulin Detection

  • Fabrizio Mastrantonio
  • Francesco Valgimigli
  • Lucia Grassi
  • Paolo Cappa
  • Giovanni De Micheli
  • Sandro Carrara


New advancements in the management of type I diabetic patients (T1DM) call for a new generation of monitoring systems based upon an array of metabolic biosensors including sensors for insulin detection. Blood insulin values are always less than 270 pM; therefore, specifically designed insulin sensors have to provide a limit of detection in the range of few pico-molar units. At present, electrochemical sensors are one of the best options to provide low-cost technologies for diabetes mellitus monitoring and treatment. Moreover, modern nanotechnology permits to improve further their performances by providing new materials, structured at the nanoscale (i.e., carbon nanotubes), which alter the original sensor properties when used for both in vivo and in vitro biosensing applications. A recent article in literature has proposed a solution based on electrochemical sensors that promise performances in line with above-mentioned insulin detection requirements. However, data presented in this paper show that such a promise is still overestimated, and an electrochemical sensor capable of insulin detection within the physiological range is still beyond the present state of the art even when adopting nanostructured working electrodes.


Insulin detection Multiwalled carbon nanotubes Silicon nanoparticles Screen-printed electrodes Amperometric biosensors 



This study was conducted within the frame of the i-IronIC Project, which aimed at developing novel and highly reliable wearable biosensors for the monitoring of different human metabolic conditions. The i-IronIC project was financed by a grant by the Swiss initiative and evaluated by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrizio Mastrantonio
    • 1
  • Francesco Valgimigli
    • 1
  • Lucia Grassi
    • 2
  • Paolo Cappa
    • 2
  • Giovanni De Micheli
    • 3
  • Sandro Carrara
    • 3
  1. 1.A.Menarini DiagnosticsFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Industrial EngineeringSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Laboratory of Integrated SystemsEPFL—École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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