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Adv Mater. 2013 Jul 5;25(25):3397-408. doi: 10.1002/adma.201301219. Epub 2013 May 21.

Single-molecule electrical biosensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes.

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Center for Nanochemistry, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


Interactions between biological molecules are fundamental to biology. Probing the complex behaviors of biological systems at the molecular level provides new opportunities to uncover the wealth of molecular information that is usually hidden in conventional ensemble experiments and address the "unanswerable" questions in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. Nanometer-scale materials are particularly well matched with biomolecular interactions due to their biocompatibility, size comparability, and remarkable electrical properties, thus setting the basis for biological sensing with ultrahigh sensitivity. This brief review aims to highlight the recent progress of the burgeoning field of single-molecule electrical biosensors based on nanomaterials, with a particular focus on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), for better understanding of the molecular structure, interacting dynamics, and molecular functions. The perspectives and key issues that will be critical to the success of next-generation single-molecule biosensors toward practical applications are also discussed, such as the device reproducibility, system integration, and theoretical simulation.


biosensors; carbon nanotubes; field-effect transistors; single molecule

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