Researchers from Oregon State University and University of California at Santa Barbara are using carbon nanotubes to improve the speed of electronic biosensors.
They created carbon nanotube field-effect transistor biosensors that relied on the changing electrical resistance of the nanotubes when presented with specific proteins. The amount of the change in the resistance correlates with the nature of the protein that lands on the nanotube, helping to quickly identify it.
From the announcement:
The newest advance was the creation of a way to keep proteins from sticking to other surfaces, like fluid sticking to the wall of a pipe. By finding a way to essentially “grease the pipe,” OSU researchers were able to speed the sensing process by 2.5 times.
Further work is needed to improve the selective binding of proteins, the scientists said, before it is ready to develop into commercial biosensors.
Press release: Nanotube technology leading to fast, lower-cost medical diagnostics
Abstract in Lab on a Chip: Increasing the detection speed of an all-electronic real-time biosensor.