Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Gymama Slaughter

Committee Member

Chungsheng Xin

Committee Member

Barbara Hargrave

Committee Member

Shirshak Dhali

Committee Member

Nancy Xu


Herein, we report a novel non-enzymatic glucose biofuel cell with mobile glucose sensing. We characterized the power generation and biosensing capabilities in presence of glucose analyte. This system was developed using a non-enzymatic glucose biofuel cell consisting of colloidal platinum coated gold microwire (Au-co-Pt) employed as an anode and the cathode which was constructed using a Gas diffusion electrode (GDE) with a platinum catalyst. The non-enzymatic glucose biofuel cell produced a maximum open circuit voltage of 0.54 V and delivered and a maximum short circuit current density of 1.6 mA/cm2 with a peak power density of 0.226 mW/cm2 at a concentration of 1 M glucose. The non-enzymatic glucose biofuel cell produced an open circuit voltage of 0.38 V and delivered and a short circuit current density of 0.225 mA/cm2 with a peak power density of 0.022 mW/cm 2 at a concentration of 5 mM glucose. These findings showed that glucose biofuel cells can be further investigated in the development of a self-powered glucose biosensor. When used as self-powered glucose sensor, the system showed a good sensitivity of 0.616 μA mM−1 and linear dependence with a correlation coefficient of 0.995 in the glucose concentration range of 2 mM to 50 mM.

The system was further characterized by testing the performance of the system at various temperature, pH and amidst various interfering and competing chemical species such as uric acid, ascorbic acid, fructose, maltose and galactose. A charge pump circuit consisting of a blinking LED was connected to the biofuel cell to amplify the input voltage to power small electronic devices. The blinking frequency of the LED corresponds to the glucose concentration. An android mobile phone camera application was used to measure this LED blinking frequency which was in turn converted into the glucose concentration readings using image processing in MATLAB. The user was notified via text message and an email.