Taking a closer look at unevenly charged biomolecules

phys.org | 8/16/2018 | Staff
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In clinical diagnostics, it is critical to monitor biomolecules in a simple, rapid and sensitive way. Clinicians most often monitor antibodies because these small proteins attach to antigens, or foreign substances, we face every day. Most biomolecules, however, have complicated charge characteristics, and the sensor response from conventional carbon nanotube systems can be erratic. A team in Japan recently revealed how these systems work and proposed changes to dramatically improve biomolecule detection. They report their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.

These researchers demonstrated a new technique to detect, measure and analyze biomolecules with inhomogeneous charge distributions by adjusting the solution in which they monitor the biomolecule. They used carbon nanotube thin film transistors (CNT-TFTs) to zero in on the precise amount of a specific biomolecule is in a specimen.

Biosensors - Antibody - Receptors - Aptamers - Charge

CNT-TFT biosensors use immune antibody receptors called aptamers to detect the net electric charge of the part of the target molecule. After scientists identify a molecule, an antibody is made to attach to it in solution. That antibody then connects to an aptamer on a thin film of carbon nanotubes that converts the connection into an electrical signal for sensor detection. With this enhanced sensor response, researchers can...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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