Swansea University's Dr Owen Guy has co-engineered an untrasensitive biosensor made from the wonder material graphene which has been used to detect molecules that indicate an increased risk of developing cancer.
The biosensor has been shown to be more than five times more sensitive than bioassay tests currently in use, and was able to provide results in a matter of minutes, opening up the possibility of a rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tool for patients.
The biosensor was presented on 19 September, in Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing's journal 2D Materials.
To develop a viable bionsensor, the researchers, from the University of Swansea, had to create patterned graphene devices using a large substrate area, which was not possible using the traditional exfoliation technique where layers of graphene are stripped from graphite.
Instead, they grew graphene onto a silicon carbide substrate under extremely high temperatures and low pressure to form the basis of the biosensor. The researchers then patterned graphene devices, using semiconductor processing techniques, before attaching a number of bioreceptor molecules to the graphene devices. These receptors were able to bind to, or target, a specific molecule present in blood, saliva or urine.
Co-author of the study Dr Owen Guy said:
"Graphene has superb electronic transport properties and has an intrinsically high surface-to-volume ratio, which make it an ideal material for fabricating biosensors.
Now that we've created the first proof-of-concept biosensor using epitaxial graphene, we will look to investigate a range of different biomarkers associated with different diseases and conditions, as well as detecting a number of different biomarkers on the same chip."
To view the full article please visit:http://press-news.org/138155-graphene-sensor-tracks-down-cancer-biomarkers.html
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