Biomimetic sensor design
Detection of desired target chemicals in a sensitive and selective manner is critically important to protect human health, environment and national security. Nature has been a great source of inspiration for the design of sensitive and selective sensors. In this mini-review, we overview the recent developments in bio-inspired sensor development. There are four major components of sensor design: design of receptors for specific targets; coating materials to integrate receptors to transducing machinery; sensitive transducing of signals; and decision making based on the sensing results. We discuss the biomimetic methods to discover specific receptors followed by a discussion about bio-inspired nanocoating material design. We then review the recent developments in phage-based bioinspired transducing systems followed by a discussion of biomimetic pattern recognition-based decision making systems. Our review will be helpful to understand recent approaches to reverse-engineer natural systems to design specific and sensitive sensors.