Selective glucose sensing in complex media using a biomimetic receptor

Robert A. Tromans, Soumen K. Samanta, Andy M. Chapman and Anthony P. Davis

Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 3223-3227


Glucose is a key biomedical analyte, especially relevant to the management of diabetes. Current methods for glucose determination rely on the enzyme glucose oxidase, requiring specialist instrumentation and suffering from redox-active interferents. In a new approach, a powerful and highly selective achiral glucose receptor is mixed with a sample, L-glucose is added, and the induced CD spectrum is measured. The CD signal results from competition between the enantiomers, and is used to determine the D-glucose content. The involvement of L-glucose doubles the signal range from the CD spectrometer and allows sensitivity to be adjusted over a wide dynamic range. It also negates medium effects, which must be equal for both enantiomers. The method has been demonstrated with human serum, pre-filtered to remove proteins, giving results which closely match the standard biochemical procedures, as well as a cell culture medium and a beer sample containing high (70 mM) and low (0.4 mM) glucose concentrations respectively.