CHAPTER 9: Carbon Nanomaterials for the Development of Biosensors for Microbe Detection and Diagnosis
Published:03 Feb 2021
N. D. T. Tram, X. Zhu, P. L. R. Ee, and G. Pastorin, in Carbon Nanostructures for Biomedical Applications, ed. T. Da Ros, N. Martín, and J. Nierengarten, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 293-330.
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The demand for improvements in diagnostic techniques for infectious diseases is a medical necessity that has been globally recognized. Historically, a few conventional methods have been employed, namely plate count, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), although they are not sufficiently robust to meet current diagnostic needs. Advancement in the field of biosensors may potentially overcome current limitations, by providing shorter processing time, greater sensitivity and selectivity. Among the plethora of available materials, carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) such as graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon dots (CDs) have garnered much attention for their potential applications in the fields of biomedicine and bioelectronics. One of CNMs' virtues most relevant to biosensor technologies is the ease of organic functionalizations. However, the development of CNM-based biosensors, or any kind of biosensor for that matter, should take into consideration the influence from environmental cues. For example, deviation in the surrounding temperature has been shown to instigate transformation in the structural dynamics of dengue viral particles. Consequential restructuring of surface properties could impair the efficiency of immunosensors. Moreover, the detection mechanism of biosensors often relies on weak chemical interactions, whose equilibrium can be swayed by a multitude of factors (e.g. pH, osmolality, ionic strength). It follows that these parameters need to be carefully evaluated to ensure that CNM biosensors provide readouts that are reproducible and reliable.