Authors: H. Esfandyarpour
Affilation: Stanford, United States
Pages: 422 - 425
Keywords: nanobiosensor, diagnostics, infectious disease detector, nanobiotechnology, AIDS, nanotubes, nanowires, nanocrystals, quantum dots, HIV
Biosensing of infectious agents should be ideally real-time, multiplexed, sensitive and specific. While no single device thus far have demonstrated superiority with respect to all these qualities, many of the upcoming nanomaterial-based sensors described in this paper appear to be promising and could potentially deliver real-time, multiplexed detections while achieving similar if not better sensitivity and specificity than conventional methods. Here we chart recent advances in the state-of-the-art nano-methods which are being used to fill this need in biotechnology and look at the different challenges and possibilities through the industrialization in the future of these technologies in the real world. In terms of device evaluation, more clinically relevant samples (e.g. body fluids, sputum and stools) should be used instead of purified samples, which are not always available. This is because the blood might contain hemoglobin that could interfere with light emission from quantum dots and if acidic could affect antibody-pathogen binding on either nanowires or nanotubes. High ionic strength of serum could also potentially hinder electrical detection by nanowires. For the detection of biothreat agents, only a handful of devices and no nanodevices yet have been tested under field conditions, which should be the ultimate if not most clinically relevant test. This is important because sample collection, sample matrix processing, and environmental conditions could all affect the performance of biosensors.