Injectable sensors can significantly improve the volume of critical biomedical information emerging from the human body in response to injury or disease. Optical oxygen sensors with rapid response times can be achieved by incorporating oxygen-sensitive luminescent molecules within polymeric matrices with suitably high surface area to volume ratios. In this work, electrospraying utilizes these advances to produce conveniently injectable, oxygen sensing particles made up of a core-shell polysulfone-polysulfone structure containing a phosphorescent oxygen-sensitive palladium porphyrin species within the core. Particle morphology is highly dependent on solvent identity and electrospraying parameters; DMF offers the best potential for the creation of uniform, sub-micron particles. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy confirms the existence of both core-shell structure and oxygen sensitivity. The dissolved oxygen response time is rapid (<0.30 s), ideal for continuous real-time monitoring of oxygen concentration. The incorporation of Pluronic F-127 surfactant enables efficient dispersion; selection of an appropriate electrospraying solvent (DMF) yields particles readily injected even through a <100 μm diameter needle.
Keywords: Coaxial electrospraying; biosensors; core-shell microparticles; dispersion; metalloporphyrin; oxygen sensing; surfactant.