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.
nanostructured metal-oxides; glucose biosensor; electrochemical principles; enzymatic sensor; nonenzymatic sensor
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.
cyclic voltammogram of titanium dioxide photoanode; flat band potential; nanoporous TiO2 thin film; photocurrent; Schottky junction and ohmic contact
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.
conducting polymers; reactive materials; sensors; actuators; artificial muscles; tactile muscles; sensing actuators
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.
Langmuir-Blodgett films; laccase; tyrosinase; diphenylamine and carbazole derivatives; biosensing effect; gas sensors; electroconductivity; AFM
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.
DNA biosensor; Titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin film; Light addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS); Silanization; Fluorescein label; Gene chip
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.
biosensor; nanostructures; electrochemical; immobilization
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.
nanoelectroforming; nanostructure polycarbonate substrate; gold nanoparticles; silver nanoparticles; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
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.
Semiconducting Oxides; Metallic Oxides; Biosensors; Solid-State Biodetection; Nanobiosensors; Nanomaterials; Biomedical Detection
We report on the development of an enzyme-amplified sandwich-type immunosensor based on a thin gold film sputtered on an anodic nanoporous niobium oxide (Au@Nb2O5) electrode. The electrocatalytic activity of enzymatically amplified electroactive species and a stable electrode consisting of Au@Nb2O5 were used to obtain a powerful signal amplification of the electrochemical immunobiosensor. The method using this electrochemical biosensor based on an Au@Nb2O5 electrode provides a much better performance than those based on conventional bulk gold or niobium oxide electrodes. Our novel approach does not require any time-consuming cleaning steps to yield reproducible electrochemical signals. In addition, the strong adhesion of gold films on the niobium oxide electrodes offers a very stable substrate during electrochemical biosensing. Cyclic voltammetry measurements indicate that non-specific binding of proteins to the modified Au@Nb2O5 surface is sufficiently low to be ignored in the case of our novel system. Finally, we demonstrated the ability of the biosensor based on an Au@Nb2O5 offering the enhanced performance with a high resolution and sensitivity. Therefore, it is expected that the biosensor based on an Au@Nb2O5 has great potential for highly efficient biological devices.
electrochemical biosensor; niobium oxide; enzyme; immunosensor
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.
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.
CuO-TiO2 nanosheets; Wet-chemical process; Optical property; Structural property; Adsorption isotherm; Iron(III) ion detection
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.
Biosensing; Drug delivery; Implantable materials; Nanopores; Nano-scale membranes
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).
quantum dots; biosensing; TiO2; template methods; nanoporous mask
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.
The chemiresistive thin film gas sensors with fast response, high sensitivity, low power consumption and mass-produced potency, have been expected for practical application. It requires both sensitive materials, especially exquisite nanomaterials, and efficient substrate chip for heating and electrical addressing. However, it is challenging to achieve repeatable microstructures across the films and low power consumption of substrate chip. Here we presented a new sensor structure via the fusion of metal-oxide nanoporous films and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based sensing chip. An interdigital-electrodes (IDEs) and microheater integrated MEMS structure is designed and employed as substrate chip to in-situ fabricate colloidal monolayer template-induced metal-oxide (egg. SnO2) nanoporous sensing films. This fused sensor demonstrates mW-level low power, ultrafast response (~1 s), and parts-per-billion lever detection for ethanol gas. Due to the controllable template strategy and mass-production potential, such micro/nano fused high-performance gas sensors will be next-generation key miniaturized/integrated devices for advanced practical applications.
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.
Pt nanowires; Hybrid catalyst; Methanol oxidation; Thermally activated photoreduction
Innovations in the field of electrochemical sensors and biosensors are of much importance nowadays. These devices are designed with probes and micro electrodes. The miniaturized designs of these sensors allow analyses of materials without damaging the samples. Some of these sensors are also useful for real time analysis within the host system, so these sensors are considered to be more advantageous than other types of sensors. The active sensing materials used in these types of sensors can be any material that acts as a catalyst for the oxidation or reduction of particular analyte or set of analytes. Among various kinds of sensing materials, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and nanoparticles have received considerable attraction in recent years. DNA is one of the classes of natural polymers, which can interact with CNTs and nanoparticles to form new types of composite materials. These composite materials have also been used as sensing materials for sensor applications. They have advantages in characteristics such as extraordinary low weight and multifunctional properties. In this article, advantages of DNA incorporated in CNT and nanoparticle hybrids for electrochemical sensors and biosensors are presented in detail, along with some key results noted from the literature.
DNA; carbon nanotubes; nanoparticles; electrochemical sensors; biosensors; hybrid
For sensors detecting immobilized biomarkers, the interface between the surface and the fluid medium plays an important role in determining the levels of signal and noise in the electrochemical detection process. When protein is directly immobilized on the metal electrode, denaturation of the protein by surface-protein interaction results in low activity and low signal level. The conducting polymer based interface can prevent the protein conformation change and alleviate this problem. We introduce the DNA-dendrimer into the interfacial film on the sensor surface to further improve the sensor performance. DNA-dendrimer is a nano-scale dendrite constructed of short DNA sequences, which can be easily incorporated into the abiotic conducting polymer matrix and is biocompatible to most bio-species.
In this work, DNA-dendrimer and polypyrrole (DDPpy) form the bio-abiotic interface on electrochemical sensors. Detections of two salivary protein markers (IL-8 and IL-1β) and one mRNA salivary marker (IL-8) were used to demonstrate the efficiency of the DDPpy sensor. The limit of detection (LOD) of protein has achieved 100-200 fg/ml, which are three orders of magnitude better than that without the DNA-dendrimer interface. An LOD of 10 aM was established for IL-8 mRNA. The typical sample volume used in the detection is 4 μl, thus the LOD reaches only 25 target molecules (40 yocto mole).
Conducting polymer; nanoscale dendrimer; bio-abiotic interface; bio-molecular sensor; salivary biomarker
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.
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.
Nano–bio interfaces; TiO2 nanoparticles; ferromagnets; spin vortex state; magneto-mechanical actuation; apoptosis; cancer cells
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.
Doped Mn2O3-ZnO nanoparticles; Wet-chemical method; Powder X-ray diffraction; 4-nitrophenol; I-V technique; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; Sensitivity
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.
nanostructure; quantum dot; biosensor
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.
The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) property of gold nanoparticles (GNP) has been exploited in a variety of optical sensor configurations including solution-based bioassays, paper-based colorimetric detection, surface-confined nanoparticle film/array-based sensing, etc. Amongst these, gold nanostructured films are of great interest because of their high stability, good reproducibility, robustness, and cost-effectiveness. The inherent optical characteristics of GNP, are attributed to parameters like size and shape (eg, nanospheres, nanorods, nanostars), eg, LSPR spectral location sensitivity to the local environment, composition (eg, gold–silver or silica–gold nanoshells), sensing volume, mesospacing, and multiplexing. These properties allow sensor tunability, enabling enhanced sensitivity and better performance of these biosensors. Ultrasensitive biosensor designs were realized using gold nanostructured films fabricated by bottom-up as well as top-down approaches. In this review, we describe the past, present, and future trends in the development of GNP-LSPR-based sensors, concentrating on both design (fabrication) and application. In the process, we have discussed various combinations of GNP size and shape, substrate, and application domains.
localized surface plasmon resonance; gold nanoparticles; label-free optical biosensor
Piezoelectric materials are widely used for microscale sensors and actuators but can pose material compatibility challenges. This paper reports a post-CMOS compatible fabrication process for piezoelectric sensors and actuators on silicon using only standard CMOS metals. The piezoelectric properties of aluminum nitride (AlN) deposited on titanium (Ti) by reactive sputtering are characterized and microcantilever actuators are demonstrated. The film texture of the polycrystalline Ti and AlN films is improved by removing the native oxide from the silicon substrate in situ and sequentially depositing the films under vacuum to provide a uniform growth surface. The piezoelectric properties for several AlN film thicknesses are measured using laser doppler vibrometry on unpatterned wafers and released cantilever beams. The film structure and properties are shown to vary with thickness, with values of d33f, d31 and d33 of up to 2.9, −1.9 and 6.5 pm V−1, respectively. These values are comparable with AlN deposited on a Pt metal electrode, but with the benefit of a fabrication process that uses only standard CMOS metals.