Thursday, December 01, 2011

Nanotubes and Synthetic DNA


Researchers at the Purdue University have designed a technology for packing carbon nanotubes and synthetic DNA onto a biosensor electrode, paving the way for accurately analyzing diabetes and other diseases.


Existing sensors use enzyme-coated metal electrodes, which react with substances to generate an electrical signal that can be used for measurement. However, these sensors measure incorrectly due to their inefficiency. Carbon nanotubes, which have superior electrical and thermal properties, are capable of enhancing the performance of the sensors. However, their partial compatibility with water restricts their use in biological fluids.

Professors at the Purdue University, Jong Hyun Choi and Marshall Porterfield have developed a sensor that is capable of building itself. They have reported their results in The Analyst journal. Choi created an artificial DNA that can bind to the surface of the carbon nanomaterial, which increases its water solubility.

Choi stated that after the preparation of a solution containing carbon nanotubes, the electrode is then placed into the solution to get charged, resulting in the coating of the electrode surface by the carbon nanotubes. The carbon nanotube-coated electrode is now capable of attracting the enzymes to complete the assembly of the sensor. This sensor was developed for glucose. However, Porterfield commented that the sensor can be customized for many other compounds. This sensor can be mass produced for diabetes, he said. Their technology is a self-building platform to create biomolecular-level biosensors, he added.

Porterfield further said that by employing this technology, it is possible to develop advanced sensors that can perform real-time tests to detect the efficiency of drugs. He will continue his research for biosensor development for detecting various compounds, he added.

Source: http://www.purdue.edu

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