Functional nanomaterial-based amplified bio-detection strategies
In the development of bio-detection assays that could be useful in a variety of applications such as medical diagnostic and biowarfare agent detection, improving assay sensitivity might be the foremost important task. To address this assay sensitivity issue, researchers have synthesized highly functional nanomaterials and used their structures and functions to amplify detection signals often without using enzymatic amplification that is essential in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Here, we review various amplification methods that facilitate ultrahigh assay sensitivity using functional nanomaterials. We describe the basic principles, advantages, limitations and perspectives of amplified bio-detection strategies based on optical, electrical, magnetic or mechanical properties of nanomaterials.