Flexible electronics processing techniques were applied to integrate a glucose sensor with a hormone-delivery catheter in order to create a cheap and minimally invasive method for patients with type 1 diabetes to continually monitor and control their blood sugar levels. Ultimately, this work intends to move toward the development of a complete artificial pancreas. The theory, development, and optimization of a process to fabricate these sensors/catheters is discussed along with electrical and mechanical characterization of the resulting devices. Experiments performed in the process of device development are presented, including data indicating that aluminum oxide deposited via atomic layer deposition (ALD) may not be suitable for application in flexible devices intended to withstand extreme curvature.
As an additional topic, a model of ALD in porous materials is presented as applied to deposition of aluminum oxide in carbon nanocrystal (CNC) aerogels. Aerogel geometry was modeled as a simple three-dimensional cubic network of cylinders, and recently published modeling techniques were applied to generate expected thickness profiles of ALD alumina as a function of depth into an aerogel sample. Modeled thickness profiles were generally found to agree with experimental observations, suggesting the usefulness of this model for ALD in aerogels and other complex porous geometries.