An electrochemical sensor capable of detecting and quantifying urea in fluids resulting from hemodialysis procedures. The sensor is based upon measurement of the pH change produced in an aqueous environment by the products of the enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of urea. The sensor may be fabricated using methods amenable to mass fabrication, resulting in low-cost sensors and thus providing the potential for disposable use. In a typical application, the sensor could be used in treatment centers, in conjunction with an appropriate electronics/computer system, in order to determine the hemodialysis endpoint. The sensor can also be utilized to allow at-home testing to determine if dialysis was necessary. Such a home monitor is similar, in principle, to devices used for blood glucose testing by diabetics, and would require a blood droplet sample by using a finger prick.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.