Bioanalysis Zone

A review on ZnO-based electrical biosensors for cardiac biomarker detection



Over the past few decades zinc oxide (ZnO)-based thin films and nanostructures have shown unprecedented performance in a wide range of applications. In particular, owing to high isoelectric point, biocompatibility and other multifunctional characteristics, ZnO has extensively been studied as a transduction material for biosensor development. The fascinating properties of ZnO help retain biological activity of the immobilized biomolecule and help in achieving enhanced sensing performance.As a consequence of recent advancements in this multidisciplinary field, diagnostic biosensors are expanding beyond traditional clinical labs to point-of-care and home settings. Label-free electrical detection of biomarkers has been demonstrated using ZnO-sensing platforms. In this review we highlight the characteristics of ZnO that enable realization of its use in development of point-of-care biosensors toward disease diagnosis, in particular cardiovascular diseases.

Biosensors and bioanalytical devices are integrated devices that represent ingenious developments in the realm of early management of diseases. Design and development of such analytical devices harness the advantages of multidisciplinary fields such as engineering, chemistry and biology. The basic concept behind the design of these complex bioanalytical devices is their capability to deliver a measurable output signal response for either diagnostic or therapeutic purposes when a biological recognition element interacts with the transducing surface of the sensor. A biological recognition element, commonly known as a biomarker, is usually a biomolecule which represents the pathophysiological condition such as irregularities in cellular regulatory functions, pathological responses or intervention to any therapeutic drugs. Biomarkers are usually detected by employing another biological element known as bioreceptor (e.g., enzymes, nucleic acids, antibodies and so on) immobilized on to surface of transducer, which are sensitive to target analyte as shown in Figure 1. Successful strategies for objectively measuring these biomarkers include screening the complex body fluids for expression of any proteins, DNA or RNA expression profiles, circulating tumor cells, lipids, metabolites, etc. [1]. Qualitative and quantitative determination of these biomarker concentrations in biological fluids are used to differentiate healthy versus diseased state. Therefore, biomarkers have been identified as specific cues for disease diagnosis and are useful in therapeutic management of number of diseases [1].

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