According to a new research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists have developed a new biosensor which is highly sensitive in detecting blood sugar levels. They have taken a polymer (protein) and layered it on the carbon nanotube to increase the detection capacity.
This configuration can accommodate a wide range of applications, from ultra-precise blood-sugar monitoring to infectious-agent detection, said Yuehe Lin, who led the research at the Department of Energy campus' W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.
The technique, described in the current (April) Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, enables enzymes, with the help of a long, noodle-like polymer molecule, to self-assemble layer-by-layer on a single carbon nanotube.
An individual strand coated with one to six layers ranges from 30 nanometers to about 50 nanometers thick. "Each polymer layer is porous," Lin said. "This allows the glucose to diffuse in and come into contact with the enzymes." "The polymers trap the enzymes in place," Liu said. "You can go up to five or six layers to improve the sensitivity of the detector, but after that, the more enzyme layers" inhibit diffusion of the glucose.
Now that the glucose enzyme biosensor has passed the test, Lin said, it should be possible to build a similar sensor using other enzymes that react specifically with other biological chemicals, environmental agents or even microbes and their toxic byproducts. Lin and colleagues also reported, in February issue of Analytical Chemistry, having used a similar technique to construct sensors for nerve agents. The source is Eurekalert.