This image shows using a graphene-based nanodevice to measure pA-level through-pore charge flow that is driven by a gold nanoparticle (AuNP) enlosed in an open-pore Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin. Based on the measurement, the sturcutre and function of the cage-like protein conjugated to a nanoparticle, can be quatified. This research highlights the promise of low-cost, high-sensitivity biosensing systems enabled by atomic-layer nanomaterials, with applications in healthcare, diagnostics, and environmental monitoring.
Nanomaterials are materials with at least one of their three dimensions limited to nanometer, that is, a scale that quantum effects emerge. Two-dimensional (2D) materials is a class of nanomaterials with outstanding electrical, mechanical, chemical, and bio-transducing properties. Using methods based on chemical vapor deposition, 2D materials can be prepared in large scale (~ m) and high quality with tunable strength, transparency, disorder density, and electron transport properties.
Interfacing biosystems with 2D materials by developing 2D-enabled biosensing devices and systems provides significant opportunities for interrogating the life activities and biological/physiological properties (pH, electrostatic potential, structure & function, concentration, etc.) of biosystems with unprecedented sensitivity, spatiotemporal resolution, and efficiency in power, size, cost, and time.
Device structures based on 2D materials can be translated into precise, point-of-use, portable (PPP) biomsensing tools for healthcare, screening/diagnosis of diseases such as HIV and cancer, or even environmental monitoring. Another application of 2D-based devices/systems is implantable arrays of graphene microelectrodes for chronic monitoring of life activities/effects, which can be enabled by the extremely high power-efficiency (< 1 nW cm-2) of the reference-free Faradaic charge-transferring we discovered, along with the high-precision (resolution ~fA) electrometer-based measuring methodology we developed.