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Advances in semiconductor sensor technology, medical diagnostics, and health care needs a rapid boost in research into novel miniaturized pH sensors, which can be used in vivo for continuous patient monitoring. Requirements for the in vivo sensor are materials biocompatibility, high measurement precision, a response time of an order of less than seconds, and the possibility of continuous 24-h monitoring. Monitoring of the pH values is important in the study of tissue metabolism, in neurophysiology, cancer diagnostics, and so forth. Muscle pH can be used to triage and help treat trauma victims as well as to indicate poor peripheral blood flow in diabetic patients. Clearly, to avoid infection and spread of diseases, all in vivo monitoring devices should be single-use/disposable, which puts strict requirement on their price. This paper reviews the wide range of methods and materials used for in vivo measurement of pH levels, such as using the optical fibers, pH-sensitive polymers, ion-sensitive field effect transistors, near infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and fluorescent pH indicators.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2008