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1.  A Comprehensive Review of Glucose Biosensors Based on Nanostructured Metal-Oxides 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(5):4855-4886.
Nanotechnology has opened new and exhilarating opportunities for exploring glucose biosensing applications of the newly prepared nanostructured materials. Nanostructured metal-oxides have been extensively explored to develop biosensors with high sensitivity, fast response times, and stability for the determination of glucose by electrochemical oxidation. This article concentrates mainly on the development of different nanostructured metal-oxide [such as ZnO, Cu(I)/(II) oxides, MnO2, TiO2, CeO2, SiO2, ZrO2, and other metal-oxides] based glucose biosensors. Additionally, we devote our attention to the operating principles (i.e., potentiometric, amperometric, impedimetric and conductometric) of these nanostructured metal-oxide based glucose sensors. Finally, this review concludes with a personal prospective and some challenges of these nanoscaled sensors.
PMCID: PMC3292151  PMID: 22399911
nanostructured metal-oxides; glucose biosensor; electrochemical principles; enzymatic sensor; nonenzymatic sensor
2.  Structure and Sensor Properties of Thin Ordered Solid Films 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(10):7733-7752.
Miniaturized gas sensors and biosensors based on nanostructured sensing elements have attracted considerable interest because these nanostructured materials can be used to significantly improve sensor sensitivity and the response time. We report here on a generic, reversible sensing platform based on hybrid nanofilms. Thin ordered Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films built of fluorene derivatives were used as effective gas sensors for both oxidative and reductive analytes. A novel immobilization method based on thin LB films as a matrix has been developed for construction of sensing protein layers. Biomolecules can often be incorporated into and immobilized on Langmuir-Blodgett films using adsorption methods or by covalent immobilization of proteins. The sensor sensitisation was achieved by an amphiphilic N-alkyl-bis(thiophene)arylenes admixed into the film. The interlaced derivative was expected to facilitate the electron transfer, thereby enhancing the sensor sensitivity. The results suggest that this may be very promising approach for exploring the interactions between proteins and high throughput detection of phenol derivatives in wastewater.
PMCID: PMC3292080  PMID: 22408477
Langmuir-Blodgett films; laccase; tyrosinase; diphenylamine and carbazole derivatives; biosensing effect; gas sensors; electroconductivity; AFM
3.  Biomedical Detection via Macro- and Nano-Sensors Fabricated with Metallic and Semiconducting Oxides 
Originally developed as gas sensors, the benefits of metallic and semiconducting oxide materials are now being realized in other areas of sensing, such as chemical, environmental, and biomedical monitoring and detection. Metallic and semiconducting oxides have continuously expanded their roles to date, and have also established their significance in biosensing by utilizing a variety of modes for signal generation and detection mechanism. These sensors are typically based either on their optical, electrochemical, electrical, gravimetric, acoustic, and magnetic properties for signal transduction. This article reviews such biosensors that employ metallic and semiconducting oxides as active sensing elements to detect nucleic acids, proteins, cells, and a variety of important biomarkers, both in thin film and one-dimensional forms. Specific oxide materials (Mx Oy ) examined comprehensively in this article include M = Fe, Cu, Si, Zn, Sn, In. The derivatives of these oxide materials resulting from incorporation of dopants are examined as well. The crystalline structures and unique properties that may be exploited for various biosensing applications are discussed, and recent efforts investigating the feasibility of using these oxide materials in biosensor technology are described. Key biosensor characteristics resulting from reduced dimensionality are overviewed under the motif of planar and one-dimensional sensors. This article also provides insight into current challenges facing biosensor applications for metallic and semiconducting oxides. In addition, future outlook in this particular field as well as different impacts on biology and medicine are addressed.
PMCID: PMC3766318  PMID: 23627064
Semiconducting Oxides; Metallic Oxides; Biosensors; Solid-State Biodetection; Nanobiosensors; Nanomaterials; Biomedical Detection
4.  Promises and Challenges of Nanoplasmonic Devices for Refractometric Biosensing 
Nanophotonics  2013;2(2):83-101.
Optical biosensors based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in metallic thin films are currently standard tools for measuring molecular binding kinetics and affinities – an important task for biophysical studies and pharmaceutical development. Motivated by recent progress in the design and fabrication of metallic nanostructures, such as nanoparticles or nanoholes of various shapes, researchers have been pursuing a new generation of biosensors harnessing tailored plasmonic effects in these engineered nanostructures. Nanoplasmonic devices, while demanding nanofabrication, offer tunability with respect to sensor dimension and physical properties, thereby enabling novel biological interfacing opportunities and extreme miniaturization. Here we provide an integrated overview of refractometric biosensing with nanoplasmonic devices and highlight some recent examples of nanoplasmonic sensors capable of unique functions that are difficult to accomplish with conventional SPR. For example, since the local field strength and spatial distribution can be readily tuned by varying the shape and arrangement of nanostructures, biomolecular interactions can be controlled to occur in regions of high field strength. This may improve signal-to-noise and also enable sensing a small number of molecules. Furthermore, the nanoscale plasmonic sensor elements may, in combination with nanofabrication and materials-selective surface-modifications, make it possible to merge affinity biosensing with nanofluidic liquid handling.
PMCID: PMC3804425  PMID: 24159429
Optical biosensors; refractometric sensors; surface plasmon resonance; plasmonics; figure of merit; single molecule detection; enzyme-linked biosensing; site-specific chemistry; supported lipid bilayer; pore-spanning lipid membrane; nanoparticle; nanohole; optofluidics
5.  Bio-nanocomposite Photoelectrode Composed of the Bacteria Photosynthetic Reaction Center Entrapped on a Nanocrystalline TiO2 Matrix 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2005;5(4):258-265.
A new kind of bio-nanocomposite photoelectrode was fabricated through direct immobilization of the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center (RC) proteins on a nanocrystalline TiO2 matrix prepared by anodic electrodeposition. The near-infrared (NIR)-visible absorption and fluorescence emission spectra displayed that structure and activity of the RC remained unaltered on the nano-TiO2 film surface. High efficient light-harvesting of the NIR light energy by RC contributed to the distinct enhancement of the photoelectric conversion on such nanoporous matrix, which would provide a new strategy to develop versatile biomimic energy convertors or photoelectric sensors.
PMCID: PMC3933899
Photosynthetic reaction center; nanocrystalline TiO2; photoelectric; light-harvesting
6.  Sensing and Tactile Artificial Muscles from Reactive Materials 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(4):2638-2674.
Films of conducting polymers can be oxidized and reduced in a reversible way. Any intermediate oxidation state determines an electrochemical equilibrium. Chemical or physical variables acting on the film may modify the equilibrium potential, so that the film acts as a sensor of the variable. The working potential of polypyrrole/DBSA (Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid) films, oxidized or reduced under constant currents, changes as a function of the working conditions: electrolyte concentration, temperature or mechanical stress. During oxidation, the reactive material is a sensor of the ambient, the consumed electrical energy being the sensing magnitude. Devices based on any of the electrochemical properties of conducting polymers must act simultaneously as sensors of the working conditions. Artificial muscles, as electrochemical actuators constituted by reactive materials, respond to the ambient conditions during actuation. In this way, they can be used as actuators, sensing the surrounding conditions during actuation. Actuating and sensing signals are simultaneously included by the same two connecting wires.
PMCID: PMC3274195  PMID: 22319265
conducting polymers; reactive materials; sensors; actuators; artificial muscles; tactile muscles; sensing actuators
7.  A non-labeled DNA biosensor based on light addressable potentiometric sensor modified with TiO2 thin film*  
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin film was deposited on the surface of the light addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS) to modify the sensor surface for the non-labeled detection of DNA molecules. To evaluate the effect of ultraviolet (UV) treatment on the silanization level of TiO2 thin film by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTS), fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) was used to label the amine group on the end of APTS immobilized onto the TiO2 thin film. We found that, with UV irradiation, the silanization level of the irradiated area of the TiO2 film was improved compared with the non-irradiated area under well-controlled conditions. This result indicates that TiO2 can act as a coating material on the biosensor surface to improve the effect and efficiency of the covalent immobilization of biomolecules on the sensor surface. The artificially synthesized probe DNA molecules were covalently linked onto the surface of TiO2 film. The hybridization of probe DNA and target DNA was monitored by the recording of I-V curves that shift along the voltage axis during the process of reaction. A significant LAPS signal can be detected at 10 μmol/L of target DNA sample.
PMCID: PMC2772892  PMID: 19882762
DNA biosensor; Titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin film; Light addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS); Silanization; Fluorescein label; Gene chip
8.  Protein Biosensors Based on Polymer Nanowires, Carbon Nanotubes and Zinc Oxide Nanorods 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2011;11(5):5087-5111.
The development of biosensors using electrochemical methods is a promising application in the field of biotechnology. High sensitivity sensors for the bio-detection of proteins have been developed using several kinds of nanomaterials. The performance of the sensors depends on the type of nanostructures with which the biomaterials interact. One dimensional (1-D) structures such as nanowires, nanotubes and nanorods are proven to have high potential for bio-applications. In this paper we review these three different kinds of nanostructures that have attracted much attention at recent times with their great performance as biosensors. Materials such as polymers, carbon and zinc oxide have been widely used for the fabrication of nanostructures because of their enhanced performance in terms of sensitivity, biocompatibility, and ease of preparation. Thus we consider polymer nanowires, carbon nanotubes and zinc oxide nanorods for discussion in this paper. We consider three stages in the development of biosensors: (a) fabrication of biomaterials into nanostructures, (b) alignment of the nanostructures and (c) immobilization of proteins. Two different methods by which the biosensors can be developed at each stage for all the three nanostructures are examined. Finally, we conclude by mentioning some of the major challenges faced by many researchers who seek to fabricate biosensors for real time applications.
PMCID: PMC3231366  PMID: 22163892
biosensor; nanostructures; electrochemical; immobilization
9.  Development of a Novel Biosensor Using Cationic Antimicrobial Peptide and Nickel Phthalocyanine Ultrathin Films for Electrochemical Detection of Dopamine 
The antimicrobial peptide dermaseptin 01 (DS 01), from the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis frogs, was immobilized in nanostructured layered films in conjunction with nickel tetrasulfonated phthalocyanines (NiTsPc), widely used in electronic devices, using layer-by-layer technique. The films were used as a biosensor to detect the presence of dopamine (DA), a neurotransmitter associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, with detection limits in the order of 10−6 mol L−1. The use of DS 01 in LbL film generated selectivity in the detection of DA despite the presence of ascorbic acid found in biological fluids. This work is the first to report that the antimicrobial peptide and NiTsPc LbL film exhibits electroanalytical activity to DA oxidation. The selectivity in the detection of DA is a fundamental aspect for the development of electrochemical sensors with potential applications in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.
PMCID: PMC3263607  PMID: 22287966
10.  The Compatibility of Hepatocytes with Chemically Modified Porous Silicon with Reference to In Vitro Biosensors 
Biomaterials  2008;30(1):26-34.
Porous Si is a nanostructured material that is of interest for molecular and cell-based biosensing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications. Surface chemistry is an important factor determining the stability of porous Si in aqueous media, its affinity for various biomolecular species, and its compatibility with tissues. In this study, the attachment and viability of a primary cell type to porous Si samples containing various surface chemistries is reported, and the ability of the porous Si films to retain their optical reflectivity properties relevant to molecular biosensing is assessed. Four chemical species grafted to the porous Si surface are studied: silicon oxide (via ozone oxidation), dodecyl (via hydrosilylation with dodecene), undecanoic acid (via hydrosilylation with undecylenic acid), and oligo(ethylene) glycol (via hydrosilylation with undecylenic acid followed by an oligo(ethylene) glycol coupling reaction). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and contact angle measurements are used to characterize the surface. Adhesion and short-term viability of primary rat hepatocytes on these surfaces, with and without pre-adsorption of collagen type I, are assessed using vital dyes (calcein-AM and ethidium homodimer I). Cell viability on undecanoic acid-terminated porous Si, oxide-terminated porous Si, and oxide-terminated flat (non-porous) Si are monitored by quantification of albumin production over the course of 8 days. The stability of porous Si thin films after 8 days in cell culture is probed by measuring the optical interferometric reflectance spectra. Results show that hepatocytes adhere better to surfaces coated with collagen, and that chemical modification does not exert a deleterious effect on primary rat hepatocytes. The hydrosilylation chemistry greatly improves the stability of porous Si in contact with cultured primary cells while allowing cell coverage levels comparable to standard culture preparations on tissue culture polystyrene.
PMCID: PMC2784167  PMID: 18845334
11.  Selective Iron(III) ion uptake using CuO-TiO2 nanostructure by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry 
CuO-TiO2 nanosheets (NSs), a kind of nanomaterials is one of the most attracting class of transition doped semiconductor materials due to its interesting and important optical, electrical, and structural properties and has many technical applications, such as in metal ions detection, photocatalysis, Chemi-sensors, bio-sensors, solar cells and so on. In this paper the synthesis of CuO-TiO2 nanosheets by the wet-chemically technique is reported.
CuO-TiO2 NSs were prepared by a wet-chemical process using reducing agents in alkaline medium and characterized by UV/vis., FT-IR spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) etc.
The structural and optical evaluation of synthesized NSs were measured by XRD pattern, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and UV–vis spectroscopy, respectively which confirmed that the obtained NSs are well-crystalline CuO-TiO2 and possessing good optical properties. The morphological analysis of CuO-TiO2 NSs was executed by FE-SEM, which confirmed that the doped products were sheet-shaped and growth in large quantity. Here, the analytical efficiency of the NSs was applied for a selective adsorption of iron(III) ion prior to detection by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The selectivity of NSs towards various metal ions, including Au(III), Cd(II), Co(II), Cr(III), Fe(III), Pd(II), and Zn(II) was analyzed.
Based on the selectivity study, it was confirmed that the selectivity of doped NSs phase was the most towards Fe(III) ion. The static adsorption capacity for Fe(III) was calculated to be 110.06 mgg−1. Results from adsorption isotherm also verified that the adsorption process was mainly monolayer-adsorption onto a surface containing a finite number of CuO-TiO2 NSs adsorption sites.
PMCID: PMC3570428  PMID: 23244218
CuO-TiO2 nanosheets; Wet-chemical process; Optical property; Structural property; Adsorption isotherm; Iron(III) ion detection
12.  Homogeneous Photosensitization of Complex TiO2 Nanostructures for Efficient Solar Energy Conversion 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:451.
TiO2 nanostructures-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are under worldwide attentions as the method to generate clean energy. For these devices, narrow-bandgap semiconductor photosensitizers such as CdS and CdSe are commonly used to couple with TiO2 in order to harvest the visible sunlight and to enhance the conversion efficiency. Conventional methods for depositing the photosensitizers on TiO2 such as dip coating, electrochemical deposition and chemical-vapor-deposition suffer from poor control in thickness and uniformity, and correspond to low photocurrent levels. Here we demonstrate a new method based on atomic layer deposition and ion exchange reaction (ALDIER) to achieve a highly controllable and homogeneous coating of sensitizer particles on arbitrary TiO2 substrates. PEC tests made to CdSe-sensitized TiO2 inverse opal photoanodes result in a drastically improved photocurrent level, up to ~15.7 mA/cm2 at zero bias (vs Ag/AgCl), more than double that by conventional techniques such as successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction.
PMCID: PMC3372876  PMID: 22693653
13.  Schottky junction/ohmic contact behavior of a nanoporous TiO2 thin film photoanode in contact with redox electrolyte solutions 
The nature and photoelectrochemical reactivity of nanoporous semiconductor electrodes have attracted a great deal of attention. Nanostructured materials have promising capabilities applicable for the construction of various photonic and electronic devices. In this paper, a mesoporous TiO2 thin film photoanode was soaked in an aqueous methanol solution using an O2-reducing Pt-based cathode in contact with atmospheric air on the back side. It was shown from distinct photocurrents in the cyclic voltammogram (CV) that the nanosurface of the mesoporous n-TiO2 film forms a Schottky junction with water containing a strong electron donor such as methanol. Formation of a Schottky junction (liquid junction) was also proved by Mott–Schottky plots at the mesoporous TiO2 thin film photoanode, and the thickness of the space charge layer was estimated to be very thin, i.e., only 3.1 nm at −0.1 V vs Ag/AgCl. On the other hand, the presence of [Fe(CN)6]4− and the absence of methanol brought about ohmic contact behavior on the TiO2 film and exhibited reversible redox waves in the dark due to the [Fe(CN)6]4−/3− couple. Further studies showed that multiple Schottky junctions/ohmic contact behavior inducing simultaneously both photocurrent and overlapped reversible redox waves was found in the CV of a nanoporous TiO2 photoanode soaked in an aqueous redox electrolyte solution containing methanol and [Fe(CN)6]4−. That is, the TiO2 nanosurface responds to [Fe(CN)6]4− to give ohmic redox waves overlapped simultaneously with photocurrents due to the Schottky junction. Additionally, a second step photocurrent generation was observed in the presence of both MeOH and [Fe(CN)6]4− around the redox potential of the iron complex. It was suggested that the iron complex forms a second Schottky junction for which the flat band potential (E fb) lies near the redox potential of the iron complex.
PMCID: PMC3148041  PMID: 21977423
cyclic voltammogram of titanium dioxide photoanode; flat band potential; nanoporous TiO2 thin film; photocurrent; Schottky junction and ohmic contact
14.  Molecular Sensing by Nanoporous Crystalline Polymers 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(12):9816-9857.
Chemical sensors are generally based on the integration of suitable sensitive layers and transducing mechanisms. Although inorganic porous materials can be effective, there is significant interest in the use of polymeric materials because of their easy fabrication process, lower costs and mechanical flexibility. However, porous polymeric absorbents are generally amorphous and hence present poor molecular selectivity and undesired changes of mechanical properties as a consequence of large analyte uptake. In this contribution the structure, properties and some possible applications of sensing polymeric films based on nanoporous crystalline phases, which exhibit all identical nanopores, will be reviewed. The main advantages of crystalline nanoporous polymeric materials with respect to their amorphous counterparts are, besides a higher selectivity, the ability to maintain their physical state as well as geometry, even after large guest uptake (up to 10–15 wt%), and the possibility to control guest diffusivity by controlling the orientation of the host polymeric crystalline phase. The final section of the review also describes the ability of suitable polymeric films to act as chirality sensors, i.e., to sense and memorize the presence of non-racemic volatile organic compounds.
PMCID: PMC3267198  PMID: 22303150
polymer co-crystals; nanoporous crystalline phases; syndiotactic polystyrene; sensing film rigidity; molecular sensors; chiral sensors
15.  Nanoporous membranes for medical and biological applications 
Synthetic nanoporous materials have numerous potential biological and medical applications that involve sorting, sensing, isolating and releasing biological molecules. Nanoporous systems engineered to mimic natural filtration systems are actively being developed for use in smart implantable drug delivery systems, bioartificial organs, and other novel nano-enabled medical devices. Recent advances in nanoscience have made it possible to precisely control the morphology as well as physical and chemical properties of the pores in nanoporous materials that make them increasingly attractive for regulating and sensing transport at the molecular level. In this work, an overview of nanoporous membranes for biomedical applications is given. Various in vivo and in vitro membrane applications, including biosensing, biosorting, immunoisolation and drug delivery, are presented. Different types of nanoporous materials and their fabrication techniques are discussed with an emphasis on membranes with ordered pores. Desirable properties of membranes used in implantable devices, including biocompatibility and antibiofouling behavior, are discussed. The use of surface modification techniques to improve the function of nanoporous membranes is reviewed. Despite the extensive research carried out in fabrication, characterization, and modeling of nanoporous materials, there are still several challenges that must be overcome in order to create synthetic nanoporous systems that behave similarly to their biological counterparts.
PMCID: PMC3684197  PMID: 20049818
Biosensing; Drug delivery; Implantable materials; Nanopores; Nano-scale membranes
16.  Self-ordered TiO2 quantum dot array prepared via anodic oxidation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):123.
The template-based methods belong to low-cost and rapid preparation techniques for various nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanodots or even quantum dots [QDs]. The nanostructured surfaces with QDs are very promising in the application as a sensor array, also called 'fluorescence array detector.' In particular, this new sensing approach is suitable for the detection of various biomolecules (DNA, proteins) in vitro (in clinical diagnostics) as well as for in vivo imaging.
The paper deals with the fabrication of TiO2 planar nanostructures (QDs) by the process of titanium anodic oxidation through an alumina nanoporous template on a silicon substrate. Scanning electron microscopy observation showed that the average diameter of TiO2 QDs is less than 10 nm. Raman spectroscopic characterization of self-organized titania QDs confirmed the presence of an anatase phase after annealing at 400°C in vacuum. Such heat-treated TiO2 QDs revealed a broad emission peak in the visible range (characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy).
PMCID: PMC3305443  PMID: 22333295
quantum dots; biosensing; TiO2; template methods; nanoporous mask
17.  Ultra-long Pt nanolawns supported on TiO2-coated carbon fibers as 3D hybrid catalyst for methanol oxidation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):237.
In this study, TiO2 thin film photocatalyst on carbon fibers was used to synthesize ultra-long single crystalline Pt nanowires via a simple photoreduction route (thermally activated photoreduction). It also acted as a co-catalytic material with Pt. Taking advantage of the high-aspect ratio of the Pt nanostructure as well as the excellent catalytic activity of TiO2, this hybrid structure has the great potential as the active anode in direct methanol fuel cells. The electrochemical results indicate that TiO2 is capable of transforming CO-like poisoning species on the Pt surface during methanol oxidation and contributes to a high CO tolerance of this Pt nanowire/TiO2 hybrid structure.
PMCID: PMC3383480  PMID: 22546416
Pt nanowires; Hybrid catalyst; Methanol oxidation; Thermally activated photoreduction
18.  Morphological and chemical stability of silicon nanostructures and their molecular overlayers under physiological conditions: towards long-term implantable nanoelectronic biosensors 
The detection of biological and chemical species is of key importance to numerous areas of medical and life sciences. Therefore, a great interest exists in developing new, rapid, miniature, biocompatible and highly sensitive sensors, capable to operate under physiological conditions and displaying long-term stabilities (e.g. in-body implantable sensors). Silicon nanostructures, nanowires and nanotubes, have been extensively explored as building blocks for the creation of improved electrical biosensing devices, by virtue of their remarkably high surface-to-volume ratios, and have shown exceptional sensitivity for the real time label-free detection of molecular species adsorbed on their surfaces, down to the sensitivity of single molecules.
Yet, till this date, almost no rigorous studies have been performed on the temporal morphological stability of these nanostructures, and their resulting electrical devices, under physiological conditions (e.g. serum, blood), as well as on the chemical stability of the molecular recognition over-layers covering these structures.
Here, we present systematic time-resolved results on the morphological stability of bare Si nanowire building blocks, as well on the chemical stability of siloxane-based molecular over-layers, under physiological conditions. Furthermore, in order to overcome the observed short-term morpho-chemical instabilities, we present on the chemical passivation of the Si nanostructures by thin metal oxide nanoshells, in the range of 3–10 nm. The thickness of the metal oxide layer influences on the resulting electrical sensitivity of the fabricated FETs (field effect transistors), with an optimum thickness of 3–4 nm.
The core-shell structures display remarkable long-term morphological stability, preventing both, the chemical hydrolytic dissolution of the silicon under-structure and the concomitant loss of the siloxane-based chemical over-layers, for periods of at least several months. Electrical devices constructed from these nanostructures display excellent electrical characteristics and detection sensitivities, with exceptionally high morphological and functional stabilities. These results pave the road for the creation of long-term implantable biosensing devices in general, and nanodevices in particular.
PMCID: PMC3975481  PMID: 24606762
Nanowire; Field effect transistors; Chemical stability; Silicon; Dissolution; Biosensors
19.  A Review on the Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors Composed of Nanowires as Sensing Material 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2008;8(1):290-313.
The development and application of nanowires for electrochemical sensors and biosensors are reviewed in this article. Next generation sensor platforms will require significant improvements in sensitivity, specificity and parallelism in order to meet the future needs in variety of fields. Sensors made of nanowires exploit some fundamental nanoscopic effect in order to meet these requirements. Nanowires are new materials, which have the characteristic of low weight with extraordinary mechanical, electrical, thermal and multifunctional properties. The advantages such as size scale, aspect ratio and other properties of nanowires are especially apparent in the use of electrical sensors such as electrochemical sensors and in the use of field-effect transistors. The preparation methods of nanowires and their properties are discussed along with their advantages towards electrochemical sensors and biosensors. Some key results from each article are summarized, relating the concept and mechanism behind each sensor, with experimental conditions as well as their behavior at different conditions.
PMCID: PMC3681128
Nanowires; sensors; electrochemical sensors; biosensors; nanotechnology; nano; electroanalysis
20.  Core-shell VO2@TiO2 nanorods that combine thermochromic and photocatalytic properties for application as energy-saving smart coatings 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1370.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a Mott phase transition compound that can be applied as a thermochromic smart material for energy saving and comfort, and titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a well-known photocatalyst for self-cleaning coatings. In this paper, we report a VO2@TiO2 core-shell structure, in which the VO2 nanorod core exhibits a remarkable modulation ability for solar infrared light, and the TiO2 anatase shell exhibits significant photocatalytic degradation of organic dye. In addition, the TiO2 overcoating not only increased the luminous transmittance of VO2 based on an antireflection effect, but also modified the intrinsic colour of VO2 films from yellow to light blue. The TiO2 also enhanced the chemical stability of VO2 against oxidation. This is the first report of such a single nanoparticle structure with both thermochromic and photocatalytic properties that offer significant potential for creating a multifunctional smart coating.
PMCID: PMC3613806  PMID: 23546301
21.  Electrochemical impedimetric biosensor based on a nanostructured polycarbonate substrate 
This study integrates the techniques of nanoelectroforming, hot-embossing, and electrochemical deposition to develop a disposable, low-cost, and high sensitivity nanostructure biosensor. A modified anodic aluminum oxide barrier-layer surface was used as the template for thin nickel film deposition. After etching the anodic aluminum oxide template off, a three-dimensional mold of the concave nanostructure array was created. The fabricated three-dimensional nickel mold was further used for replica molding of a nanostructure polycarbonate substrate by hot-embossing. A thin gold film was then sputtered onto the polycarbonate substrate to form the electrode, followed by deposition of an orderly and uniform gold nanoparticle layer on the three-dimensional gold electrode using electrochemical deposition. Finally, silver nanoparticles were deposited on the uniformly deposited gold nanoparticles to enhance the conductivity of the sensor. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis was then used to detect the concentration of the target element. The sensitivity of the proposed scheme on the detection of the dust mite antigen, Der p2, reached 0.1 pg/mL.
PMCID: PMC3260957  PMID: 22275829
nanoelectroforming; nanostructure polycarbonate substrate; gold nanoparticles; silver nanoparticles; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
22.  Chemo-sensors development based on low-dimensional codoped Mn2O3-ZnO nanoparticles using flat-silver electrodes 
Semiconductor doped nanostructure materials have attained considerable attention owing to their electronic, opto-electronic, para-magnetic, photo-catalysis, electro-chemical, mechanical behaviors and their potential applications in different research areas. Doped nanomaterials might be a promising owing to their high-specific surface-area, low-resistances, high-catalytic activity, attractive electro-chemical and optical properties. Nanomaterials are also scientifically significant transition metal-doped nanostructure materials owing to their extraordinary mechanical, optical, electrical, electronic, thermal, and magnetic characteristics. Recently, it has gained significant interest in manganese oxide doped-semiconductor materials in order to develop their physico-chemical behaviors and extend their efficient applications. It has not only investigated the basic of magnetism, but also has huge potential in scientific features such as magnetic materials, bio- & chemi-sensors, photo-catalysts, and absorbent nanomaterials.
The chemical sensor also displays the higher-sensitivity, reproducibility, long-term stability, and enhanced electrochemical responses. The calibration plot is linear (r2 = 0.977) over the 0.1 nM to 50.0 μM 4-nitrophenol concentration ranges. The sensitivity and detection limit is ~4.6667 μA cm-2 μM-1 and ~0.83 ± 0.2 nM (at a Signal-to-Noise-Ratio, SNR of 3) respectively. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report for detection of 4-nitrophenol chemical with doped Mn2O3-ZnO NPs using easy and reliable I-V technique in short response time.
As for the doped nanostructures, NPs are introduced a route to a new generation of toxic chemo-sensors, but a premeditate effort has to be applied for doped Mn2O3-ZnO NPs to be taken comprehensively for large-scale applications, and to achieve higher-potential density with accessible to individual chemo-sensors. In this report, it is also discussed the prospective utilization of Mn2O3-ZnO NPs on the basis of carcinogenic chemical sensing, which could also be applied for the detection of hazardous chemicals in ecological, environmental, and health care fields.
PMCID: PMC3630067  PMID: 23537000
Doped Mn2O3-ZnO nanoparticles; Wet-chemical method; Powder X-ray diffraction; 4-nitrophenol; I-V technique; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; Sensitivity
Functional nanoscale materials that possess specific physical or chemical properties can leverage energy transduction in vivo. Once these materials integrate with biomolecules they combine physical properties of inorganic material and the biorecognition capabilities of bio-organic moieties. Such nano–bio hybrids can be interfaced with living cells, the elementary functional units of life. These nano–bio systems are capable of bio-manipulation or actuation via altering intracellular biochemical pathways. Thus, nano–bio conjugates are appealing for a wide range of applications from the life sciences and nanomedicine to catalysis and clean energy production. Here we highlight recent progress in our efforts to develop smart nano–bio hybrid materials, and to study their performance within cellular machinery under application of external stimuli, such as light or magnetic fields.
PMCID: PMC3482135  PMID: 23105163
Nano–bio interfaces; TiO2 nanoparticles; ferromagnets; spin vortex state; magneto-mechanical actuation; apoptosis; cancer cells
24.  Lipid bilayer coated Al2O3 nanopore sensors: towards a hybrid biological solid-state nanopore 
Biomedical microdevices  2011;13(4):671-682.
Solid-state nanopore sensors are highly versatile platforms for the rapid, label-free electrical detection and analysis of single molecules, applicable to next generation DNA sequencing. The versatility of this technology allows for both large scale device integration and interfacing with biological systems. Here we report on the development of a hybrid biological solid-state nanopore platform that incorporates a highly mobile lipid bilayer on a single solid-state Al2O3 nanopore sensor, for the potential reconstitution of ion channels and biological nanopores. Such a system seeks to combine the superior electrical, thermal, and mechanical stability of Al2O3 solid-state nanopores with the chemical specificity of biological nanopores. Bilayers on Al2O3 exhibit higher diffusivity than those formed on TiO2 and SiO2 substrates, attributed to the presence of a thick hydration layer on Al2O3, a key requirement to preserving the biological functionality of reconstituted membrane proteins. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that the electrostatic repulsion between the dipole of the DOPC headgroup and the positively charged Al2O3 surface may be responsible for the enhanced thickness of this hydration layer. Lipid bilayer coated Al2O3 nanopore sensors exhibit excellent electrical properties and enhanced mechanical stability (GΩ seals for over 50 h), making this technology ideal for use in ion channel electrophysiology, the screening of ion channel active drugs and future integration with biological nanopores such as α-hemolysin and MspA for rapid single molecule DNA sequencing. This technology can find broad application in bio-nanotechnology.
PMCID: PMC3175492  PMID: 21487665
Nanopore; Al2O3; Lipid bilayer; Hybrid biological solid-state Nanopore
25.  Optical Biosensors Based on Semiconductor Nanostructures 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(7):5149-5172.
The increasing availability of semiconductor-based nanostructures with novel and unique properties has sparked widespread interest in their use in the field of biosensing. The precise control over the size, shape and composition of these nanostructures leads to the accurate control of their physico-chemical properties and overall behavior. Furthermore, modifications can be made to the nanostructures to better suit their integration with biological systems, leading to such interesting properties as enhanced aqueous solubility, biocompatibility or bio-recognition. In the present work, the most significant applications of semiconductor nanostructures in the field of optical biosensing will be reviewed. In particular, the use of quantum dots as fluorescent bioprobes, which is the most widely used application, will be discussed. In addition, the use of some other nanometric structures in the field of biosensing, including porous semiconductors and photonic crystals, will be presented.
PMCID: PMC3274144  PMID: 22346691
nanostructure; quantum dot; biosensor

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