In vivo sensors using cerium nanoparticles

New electrode reduces material cost and extends operational life of glucose monitoring sensors


The global market for electrode-based blood glucose test strips is $5 billion a year and steadily growing.1 Competition in this market is fierce, especially with the introduction of generic test strips and commodity pricing. Most commercially available test strips use silver chloride electrodes.2 Cockrell School of Engineering Professor Emeritus Adam Heller has designed an electrode using cerium, which is 900 times more abundant than silver.3,4 Test strips with cerium oxide electrodes would have significant cost savings over silver chloride alternatives.

Cerium oxide electrode sensors have an even more compelling advantage in the continuous glucose monitor segment. Sensors make up nearly half of the $4.2 billion continuous glucose monitor market.5 Current continuous monitoring sensors must be replaced every 10 to 14 days. Extending the operational life would provide significant cost savings and convenience. Although further testing is required, cerium oxide nanoparticle electrodes hold promise as a longer-lasting alternative to silver-nanoparticle electrodes.6 The University of Texas at Austin is seeking partners to collaborate with Prof. Heller to develop lower-cost and longer-lasting cerium oxide electrode test strips and sensors for glucose monitoring.


1.  Ken Research “Foremost Growth in Blood Glucose Test Strips Global Market Outlook: Ken Research” Sept 1, 2020,​2020/09/global-blood-glucose-test-strips-market/

2.  Feldman, B.  “Electrochemical Blood Glucose Test Strips for People with Diabetes” Electrochemistry Science and Technology Information Resource (ESTIR). October, 2009.

3.  Adam Heller; Wikipedia; Accessed May 6, 2021.

4.  Abundance of Elements in Earth’s Crust; Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation: San Francisco, CA, 2012;​of_elements_in_Earth's_crust (accessed October 16, 2012).

5.  Market Study Report, LLC. “Global continuous glucose monitor (CGM) market” December 08, 2020.

6. Nagarale, N.K. et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 51, 20783–20787.