Gout is a condition that affects over 8 million Americans. This condition is characterized by severe pain, and in more advanced cases, bone erosion and joint destruction. This study explores the fabrication and characterization of an optical, enzymatic urate biosensor for gout management, and the optimization of the biosensor response through the tuning of hydrogel matrix properties. Sensors were fabricated through the co-immobilization of oxygen-quenched phosphorescent probes with an oxidoreductase within a biocompatible copolymer hydrogel matrix. Characterization of the spectral properties and hydrogel swelling was conducted, as well as evaluation of the response sensitivity and long-term stability of the urate biosensor. The findings indicate that increased acrylamide concentration improved the biosensor response by yielding an increased sensitivity and reduced lower limit of detection. However, the repeatability and stability tests highlighted some possible areas of improvement, with a consistent response drift observed during repeatability testing and a reduction in response seen after long-term storage tests. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of an on-demand, patient-friendly gout management tool, while paving the way for a future multi-analyte biosensor based on this sensing platform.
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