Conventionally, various types of sensor elements have been used for detection of physiological analytes. Some of the most common ones are nanosensors and microworms. In vivo use of nanosensors has been limited by cellular uptake and diffusion into biological systems. Microworm sensors can overcome such limitations of nanosensors; however, they have limited lifetime and they are difficult to mass produce. Hence, the development of new biosensors that allow efficient and localized monitoring of physiological analytes and overcome prior art limitations are needed.

Technology Overview

Researchers at Northeastern University invented electrospun fibrous-based sensors that allow localized monitoring of analytes both in vitro and in vivo. The electrospinning method used in this sensor gives the fiber high surface to volume ratio, high porosity, and diameters of nanometer to micron. Such surface features enhance the sensor sensitivity and reduce the response time. Also, the novel structure of the sensor can extend the monitoring time by minimizing sensor diffusion and cellular uptake.

The sensor, which is either in the form of a scaffold or individual fibers, is fabricated from a combination of polymers, plasticizer, coating, stabilizer and incorporated with optode sensing components. This unique fabrication of sensors makes it possible to be implanted beneath the skin and fluorescently track changes in the analyte concentration. 


  • Extended in vivo monitoring time 
  • Less cellular uptake and diffusion in biological systems 
  • Possibility of mass production and utilization at large scale 
  • Rapid response time and higher sensitivity 


  • Detection of physiological analytes 
  • Monitoring of cellular functions in cell seeding platform
  • Environmental monitoring 
  • Food monitoring 


  • License
  • Partnering
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Timothy Ruckh
Heather Clark
Mary Katharine Balaconis
Sensor Technology