SensNews Jul 2018

Sensor100 July 2018 18 Improving biosensors for implantable use EPFL scientists have developed new nanotube biosensors using synthetic biology, which improves their sensing capabilities in complex biofluids, such as blood and urine.The study is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Some of the most promising optical biosensors currently being developed are made using single-walled carbon nano- tubes.The near-infrared light emission of the carbon nanotubes lies within the optical transparency window of biological materials.This means water, blood, and tissue such as skin do not absorb the emitted light, making these biosensors ideal for implantable sensing applications.These sensors can thus be placed underneath the skin and the optical signal can still be detected without the need to have electrical contacts piercing through the surface. However, the omnipresence of salts in biofluids creates a pervasive challenge in de- signing the implantable devices. Fluctuations in salt concentrations that naturally occur in the body have been shown to affect the sensitivity and selectivity of optical sensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with single-stranded DNA. In order to overcome some of these challenges, a team of researchers from the lab of Ardemis Boghossianat EPFL engineered stable optical nanotube sensors using synthetic biology.The use of synthetic biology imparts increased stability to the optical biosen- sors, making them more suitable for use in biosensing applications in complex fluids such as blood or urine and even inside the human body. Read more Reported by: PHYS.ORG 24 July