Charles J. Choi,1 Hsin-Yu Wu,2 Jonathan Weyhenmeyer,2 Sherine George,2 and

Brian T. Cunningham2

1Biochemical Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

2University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


In medical facilities, there is strong motivation to develop detection systems that can provide continuous analysis of fluids in medical tubing used to either deliver or remove fluids from a patientís body to increase the safety of intravenous (IV) drug delivery and for point-of-care health monitoring. The goal of this work is to incorporate sensors into the internal surfaces of plastic tubing in order to enable continuous in-line monitoring of the chemical components of a fluid.

In this work, we focus on incorporating a nanostructured surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) active surface into a plastic flow cell connected with flexible tubing commonly used for IV drug infusion and urinary catheters. The SERS nanodome surface used in the present study is produced on a flexible plastic substrate by a large-area nanoreplica molding process. To investigate the potential application for the continuous in-line monitoring, we focus on the detection of an IV-delivered pain medication (promethazine) and a common metabolite (urea).

The results from this project demonstrate the potential for SERS sensors incorporated into medical tubing. Continuous monitoring of analyte concentration and composition may help to enhance patient safety by reducing hazards that occur as a result of incorrect administration of drugs or dosages. Additionally, the ability for the system to provide timely information on the status of a patient through the continuous monitoring of metabolic signals can be used to assess patient health.