Nanoparticle Technologies in Detection Science
Over the past two decades, the synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles for sensing applications (environmental and biomedical) has garnered considerable attention in the scientific community and in industry. Advances in nanoparticle technologies in detection science has permitted the development of sensors with enhanced sensitivities and improved response times. This chapter aims to review research in this area, with a particular focus on biosensors. A description of the most commonly used nanoparticles in detection science and a synopsis of the bioanalytical detection techniques using these types of nanoparticles is provided. Essential to enhanced sensitivities in detection science and biosensor development is the successful attachment of nanoparticles to relevant biomolecules and a summary of functionalization approaches to achieve this are discussed. While nanoparticle technologies offer many advantages, one of the key benefits of nanoparticle-based device performance is signal amplification. Detection techniques in both optical and electrical systems highlighting this benefit are described. Finally, the acceptance of nanoparticles in biomedical applications depends strongly on nanoparticle biocompatibility and toxicity. Current studies outlining the toxic effects of nanoparticles and the potential of harnessing these toxic effects as antimicrobial agents are therefore discussed at the end of the chapter.