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Acc Chem Res. 2011 Nov 15;44(11):1232-43. doi: 10.1021/ar200096g. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Bioelectrochemical interface engineering: toward the fabrication of electrochemical biosensors, biofuel cells, and self-powered logic biosensors.

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State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, P.R. China.


Over the past decade, researchers have devoted considerable attention to the integration of living organisms with electronic elements to yield bioelectronic devices. Not only is the integration of DNA, enzymes, or whole cells with electronics of scientific interest, but it has many versatile potential applications. Researchers are using these ideas to fabricate biosensors for analytical applications and to assemble biofuel cells (BFCs) and biomolecule-based devices. Other research efforts include the development of biocomputing systems for information processing. In this Account, we focus on our recent progress in engineering at the bioelectrochemical interface (BECI) for the rational design and construction of important bioelectronic devices, ranging from electrochemical (EC-) biosensors to BFCs, and self-powered logic biosensors. Hydrogels and sol-gels provide attractive materials for the immobilization of enzymes because they make EC-enzyme biosensors stable and even functional in extreme environments. We use a layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly technique to fabricate multicomponent thin films on the BECI at the nanometer scale. Additionally, we demonstrate how carbon nanomaterials have paved the way for new and improved EC-enzyme biosensors. In addition to the widely reported BECI-based electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)-type aptasensors, we integrate the LBL technique with our previously developed "solid-state probe" technique for redox probes immobilization on electrode surfaces to design and fabricate BECI-based differential pulse voltammetry (DPV)-type aptasensors. BFCs can directly harvest energy from ambient biofuels as green energy sources, which could lead to their application as simple, flexible, and portable power sources. Porous materials provide favorable microenvironments for enzyme immobilization, which can enhance BFC power output. Furthermore, by introducing aptamer-based logic systems to BFCs, such systems could be applied as self-powered and intelligent aptasensors for the logic detection. We have developed biocomputing keypad lock security systems which can be also used for intelligent medical diagnostics. BECI engineering provides a simple but effective approach toward the design and fabrication of EC-biosensors, BFCs, and self-powered logic biosensors, which will make essential contributions in the development of creative and practical bioelectronic devices. The exploration of novel interface engineering applications and the creation of new fabrication concepts or methods merit further attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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