Nanomaterials for molecular signal amplification in electrochemical nucleic acid biosensing: recent advances and future prospects for point-of-care diagnostics
With the increasing importance of personalized medicine and genomics, biosensors have received considerable attention in various fields, including clinical diagnostics, food inspection and environmental monitoring. In particular, advances in electrochemical biosensing technologies for clinical diagnostics pave the way for ultrasensitive detection of nucleic acid sequences using miniaturized and low-cost devices suitable for point-of-use applications. This account reviews three major amplification strategies utilizing nanomaterials as (i) ‘nanocatalysts’ in electrocatalysis, (ii) redox active reporters (‘nanoreporters’) and (iii) cargos for redox markers (‘nanocarriers’). In addition, and motivated by the need for reproducible and robust sensing, the integration of biosensors with microfluidic tools, including paper-based devices, are also covered.