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Chem Rev. 2016 Jan 13;116(1):215-57. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00608. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and ‡Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States.


Nano-bioelectronics represents a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field that combines nanomaterials with biology and electronics and, in so doing, offers the potential to overcome existing challenges in bioelectronics. In particular, shrinking electronic transducer dimensions to the nanoscale and making their properties appear more biological can yield significant improvements in the sensitivity and biocompatibility and thereby open up opportunities in fundamental biology and healthcare. This review emphasizes recent advances in nano-bioelectronics enabled with semiconductor nanostructures, including silicon nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. First, the synthesis and electrical properties of these nanomaterials are discussed in the context of bioelectronics. Second, affinity-based nano-bioelectronic sensors for highly sensitive analysis of biomolecules are reviewed. In these studies, semiconductor nanostructures as transistor-based biosensors are discussed from fundamental device behavior through sensing applications and future challenges. Third, the complex interface between nanoelectronics and living biological systems, from single cells to live animals, is reviewed. This discussion focuses on representative advances in electrophysiology enabled using semiconductor nanostructures and their nanoelectronic devices for cellular measurements through emerging work where arrays of nanoelectronic devices are incorporated within three-dimensional cell networks that define synthetic and natural tissues. Last, some challenges and exciting future opportunities are discussed.

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