Researchers at Purdue University have announced a microbiosensor breakthrough made possible by a new method of stacking synthetic DNA and carbon nanotubes onto an electrode. The development could lead to gains in accuracy for sensors used in diabetes and other disease research. In addition, the technology could be used to create sensors that test the effectiveness of a specific drug on specific patient demographics.
The microsensors are more accurate than standard sensors using metal electrodes coated with enzymes that react with compounds to produce a measurable electrical signal. The scientists state that this research represents the ﬁrst demonstration of the use of a single-stranded DNA-single-walled carbon nanotube/platinum black nanocomposite as a platform for creating single- and multi-enzyme biosensors for physiological applications.The scientists had previously shown that combining single-walled carbon nanotubes with platinum nanoparticles enhances the electrochemical biosensor performance. Immobolizing the nanotubes on biosensors proved challenging, however, owing to the aqueous insolubility originating from van der Waals forces.
“In the future, we will be able to create a DNA sequence that is complementary to the carbon nanotubes and is compatible with specific biosensor enzymes for the many different compounds we want to measure,” Marshall Porterfield, a Purdue professor of agricultural and biological engineering and biomedical engineering in a statement. “It will be a self-assembling platform for biosensors at the biomolecular level.”
Porterfield said that the sensors could be mass produced for insulin management for diabetics.
Press release: New biosensor benefits from melding of carbon nanotubes, DNA
Abstract in the Analyst: Microbiosensors based on DNA modified single-walled carbon nanotube and Pt black nano composites