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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
Impact Factor: 6.14

Nanotechnology for implantable sensors: carbon nanotubes and graphene in medicine

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Abstract Implantable sensors utilizing nanotechnology are at the forefront of diagnostic, medical monitoring, and biological technologies. These sensors are often equipped with nanostructured carbon allotropes, such as graphene or carbon nanotubes (CNTs), because of their unique and often enhanced properties over forms of bulk carbon, such as diamond or graphite. Because of these properties, the fundamental and applied research of these carbon nanomaterials have become some of the most cited topics in scientific literature in the past decades. The age of carbon nanomaterials is simply budding, however, and is expected to have a major impact in many areas. These areas include electronics, photonics, plasmonics, energy capture (including batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics), and—the emphasis of this review—biosensors and sensor technologies. The following review will discuss future prospects of the two most commonly used carbon allotropes in implantable sensors for nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, CNTs and graphene. Sufficient further reading and resources have been provided for more in‐depth and specific reading that is outside the scope of this general review. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013, 5:233–249. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1213 This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants

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Cyclic voltammograms showing (a) the redox reaction peaks produced by titanium (Ti), anodized‐Ti, and multiwalled carbon nanotube‐Ti (MWNT‐Ti) electrodes and (b) how the MWNT‐Ti electrode redox peaks correspond to the calcium deposition (inset shows calcium deposition assay results). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 76. Copyright 2008 IOP Publishing Ltd.)

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(a) Early (1952) transmission electron micrographs of Soviet carbon nanotubes (CNTs). No scale bar is provided; however, on the basis of the magnification, one may calculate the diameters of nanotubes to be about 50 nm. (b) An illustration of the sp2‐hybridized bonds of graphene and CNTs—where it can be seen that the distorted electron clouds of the CNTs make them more electrochemically active. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 59. Copyright 1952 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.; Reprinted with permission from Ref 63. Copyright 2007 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.)

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Illustration showing a timeline of some of the structures of nanostructured carbon allotropes. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 26. Copyright 2010 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited; Reprinted with permission from Ref 31. Copyright 2006 Free Software Foundation)

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(a) A graph illustrating the amperometric response of the graphene foam (GF) electrode to varying concentrations of dopamine; insets show an scanning electron micrograph of the GF and a response to a dopamine concentration of 25 nM. (b) Cationic fullerene derivatives that have shown anti‐HIV properties. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 21. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society; Reprinted with permission from Ref 127. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society)

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(a) Schematics of the functionalization sites of graphene oxide (GO), (b) the structure of α‐chymotrypsin (ChT), and (c) the GO/protein complex. (d) A plot illustrating the degrees of inhibition and relative concentrations of various ChT inhibitors, GO being the most efficient. (e) The normalized activities of ChT plotted as a function of GO concentration in 5 mM sodium phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) using N‐succinyl‐l‐phenylalanine‐p‐ nitroanilide as a substrate. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 123. Copyright 2011 American Chemical Society)

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(a) An optical micrograph of the graphene‐based neural microelectrode and (b) extracellular signal with a high signal‐to‐noise‐ratio (right inset; left inset shows a schematic of the microelectrode). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 111. Copyright 2011 IEEE)

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(a) Illustration of the various biofunctionalizations of graphene and graphene oxide (GO). These functionalized graphene biosystems have the unique properties needed to be used to build up biological platforms, biosensors, and biodevices. (b) The Lerf–Klinowski model of GO (considered the most widely accepted model) with (top) and without (bottom) the carboxylic acid groups on the periphery of the basal plane. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 40. Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd.; Reprinted with permission from Ref 107. Copyright 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry)

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Contact angle bar graphs illustrating (a) graphene's wetting transparency and (b) how its wetting transparency diminishes (becoming more similar to bulk graphite) as additional graphene layers are added. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 102. Copyright 2012 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited)

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(a) Graph showing the concentration‐dependent fluorescence responses of the DNA‐encapsulated (6, 5) single‐walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) to divalent chloride counterions and (b) an illustration on DNA undergoing a conformational transition from the B form (top) to the Z form (bottom) on a SWNT. (c) The mechanism by which a SWNT acts as a molecular beacon nanoquencher. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 82. Copyright 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science; Reprinted with permission from Ref 84. Copyright 2008 American Chemical Society)

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Graphic illustrating the possible 0D (buckyballs), 1D (carbon nanotubes, CNTs), and 3D (graphite) structures that can be made from graphene (2D), as well as the chiral vectors of both the zigzag and armchair single‐walled CNT rolling patterns. The CNT in the figure is of the zigzag configuration, with the indices n = 8 and m = 0 (8, 0). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 8. Copyright 2007 Nature Publishing Group)

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Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants
Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing

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