“Graphene and gold are now being used in ultra-sensitive biosensors to detect diseases at the molecular level with near perfect efficiency.”

“In a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists with the University of Minnesota explain how they developed ultra-sensitive biosensors capable of probing protein structures and, therefore, able to detect disorders related to protein mis-folding.
Such disorders range from Alzheimer’s disease in humans to chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease in animals.
“In order to detect and treat many diseases we need to detect protein molecules at very small amounts and understand their structure,” said Sang-Hyun Oh, lead researcher on the study, in a media statement. ”
Currently, there are many technical challenges with that process. We hope that our device using graphene and a unique manufacturing process will provide the fundamental research that can help overcome those challenges.”…
Oh explained that graphene, a high-quality form of graphite that ‘evolves’ into a material made of a single layer of carbon atoms, has already been used in biosensors. The problem has been that its remarkable single atom thickness does not interact efficiently with light when shined through it.
In their new study, however, the UMN researchers combined graphene with nano-sized metal ribbons of gold. Using sticky tape and a high-tech nanofabrication technique called “template stripping,” they were able to create an ultra-flat base layer surface for the graphene….
They then used the energy of light to generate a sloshing motion of electrons or plasmons in the graphene.
According to Oh, he and his team were surprised by the rate of light absorption, which matched almost perfectly their computer simulations.
The scientists are hopeful that this technique will greatly improve different devices used to detect disorders related to protein mis-folding.”


Read full article at Gold and graphene now used in biosensors to detect diseases

Source: Mining (Photo by Oh Group, University of Minnesota)

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