Electrolyte Detection by Ion Beam Analysis, in Continuous Glucose Sensors and in Microliters of Blood using a Homogeneous Thin Solid Film of Blood, HemaDrop™

Yash Pershad, Ashley A. Mascareno, Makoyi R. Watson, Alex L. Brimhall, Nicole Herbots, Clarizza F. Watson, Abijith Krishnan, Nithin Kannan, Mark W. Mangus, Robert Culbertson, B. J. Wilkens, E. J. Culbertson, T. Cappello-Lee, R. A. Neglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Percolation of blood and of interstitial fluids into implantable continuous glucose sensors (CGS) for diabetics presently limits sensor lifetime between 3 and 7 days. Na+ mobile ions in body fluids damage Si-based CGS sensors electronics. The direct detection of Na percolation is investigated by Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) and Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) in previously used CGS. Based on these results, a new technology called HemaDropTM is then tested to prepare small volume (5-10 μL) of blood for IBA. A species's detectability by IBA scales with the square of the ratio of element's atomic number Z to that of the substrate. Because Na has a low atomic number (Z=11), Si signals from sensor substrates can prevent Na detection in Si by 2 mega electron volt (MeV) IBA. Using 4.7 MeV 23Na (α, α)23Na nuclear resonance (NR) can increase the 23Na scattering cross section and thus its detectability in Si. The NR energy, width, and resonance factor, is calibrated via two well-known alpha (α) particle signals with narrow energy spreads: a 5.486 ± 0.007 MeV 241Am α-source (ΔE = 0.12%) and the 3.038 ± 0.003 MeV 16O(α, α)16O NR (ΔE = 0.1%). Next, the NR cross section is calibrated via 100 nm NaF thin films on Si(100) by scanning the beam energy. The23Na (α, α) NR energy is found to be 4.696 ± 0.180 MeV, and the NR/RBS cross section 141 ± 7%. This is statistically significant but small compared to the 4.265 MeV 12C NR (1700%) and 3.038 MeV 16O NR (210%), and insufficient to detect small amounts of 23Na in Si. Next, a new method of sample preparation HemaDropTM, is tested for detection of elements in blood, such Fe, Ca, Na, Cl, S, K, C, N, and O, as an alternative to track fluid percolation and Na diffusion in damaged sensors. Detecting more abundant, heavier elements in blood and interstitial fluids can better track fluid percolation and Na+ ions in sensors. Both Na detection and accuracy of measured blood composition by IBA is greatly improved by using HemaDropTM sample preparation to create Homogeneous Thin Solid Films (HTSFs) of blood from 5-10 μL on most substrates. HTSF can be used in vacuo such as 10-8 -10-6 Torr).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2133-2139
Number of pages7
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number29
StatePublished - 2016


  • biomaterial
  • ion beam analysis
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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