Nanomaterials in fluorescence-based biosensing

Wenwan Zhong
May 2009
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2009, Vol. 394 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
Fluorescence-based detection is the most common method utilized in biosensing because of its high sensitivity, simplicity, and diversity. In the era of nanotechnology, nanomaterials are starting to replace traditional organic dyes as detection labels because they offer superior optical properties, such as brighter fluorescence, wider selections of excitation and emission wavelengths, higher photostability, etc. Their size- or shape-controllable optical characteristics also facilitate the selection of diverse probes for higher assay throughput. Furthermore, the nanostructure can provide a solid support for sensing assays with multiple probe molecules attached to each nanostructure, simplifying assay design and increasing the labeling ratio for higher sensitivity. The current review summarizes the applications of nanomaterials—including quantum dots, metal nanoparticles, and silica nanoparticles—in biosensing using detection techniques such as fluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence lifetime measurement, and multiphoton microscopy. The advantages nanomaterials bring to the field of biosensing are discussed. The review also points out the importance of analytical separations in the preparation of nanomaterials with fine optical and physical properties for biosensing. In conclusion, nanotechnology provides a great opportunity to analytical chemists to develop better sensing strategies, but also relies on modern analytical techniques to pave its way to practical applications.


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