Carbon and graphene quantum dots: a review on syntheses, characterization, biological and sensing applications for neurotransmitter determination
Neuro-transmitters have been considered to be essential biochemical molecules, which monitor physiological and behavioral function in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Thus, it is of high pharmaceutical and biological significance to analyze neuro-transmitters in the biological samples. So far, researchers have devised a lot of techniques for assaying these samples. It has been found that electro-chemical sensors possess features of robustness, selectivity, and sensitivity as well as real-time measurement. Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and carbon QDs (CQDs) are considered some of the most promising carbon-based nanomaterials at the forefront of this research area. This is due to their characteristics including lower toxicity, higher solubility in various solvents, great electronic features, strong chemical inertness, high specific surface areas, plenty of edge sites for functionalization, and versatility, in addition to their ability to be modified via absorbent surface chemicals and the addition of modifiers or nano-materials. Hence in the present review, the synthesis methods of GQDs and CQDs has been summarized and their characterization methods also been analyzed. The applications of carbon-based QDs (GQDs and CQDs) in biological and sensing areas, such as biological imaging, drug/gene delivery, antibacterial and antioxidant activity, photoluminescence sensors, electrochemiluminescence sensors and electrochemical sensors, have also been discussed. This study then covers sensing features of key neurotransmitters, including dopamine, tyrosine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin and acetylcholine. Hence, issues and challenges of the GQDs and CQDs were analyzed for their further development.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Reviews in RSC Advances