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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 428; doi:10.3390/s17020428

Emerging Cytokine Biosensors with Optical Detection Modalities and Nanomaterial-Enabled Signal Enhancement

1
Department of Chemistry, Georgetown University, 37th & O Sts. NW., Washington, DC 20057, USA
2
Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dejian Zhou
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2017 / Accepted: 18 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiconductor Materials on Biosensors Application)

Abstract

Protein biomarkers, especially cytokines, play a pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide spectrum of diseases. Therefore, a critical need for advanced cytokine sensors has been rapidly growing and will continue to expand to promote clinical testing, new biomarker development, and disease studies. In particular, sensors employing transduction principles of various optical modalities have emerged as the most common means of detection. In typical cytokine assays which are based on the binding affinities between the analytes of cytokines and their specific antibodies, optical schemes represent the most widely used mechanisms, with some serving as the gold standard against which all existing and new sensors are benchmarked. With recent advancements in nanoscience and nanotechnology, many of the recently emerging technologies for cytokine detection exploit various forms of nanomaterials for improved sensing capabilities. Nanomaterials have been demonstrated to exhibit exceptional optical properties unique to their reduced dimensionality. Novel sensing approaches based on the newly identified properties of nanomaterials have shown drastically improved performances in both the qualitative and quantitative analyses of cytokines. This article brings together the fundamentals in the literature that are central to different optical modalities developed for cytokine detection. Recent advancements in the applications of novel technologies are also discussed in terms of those that enable highly sensitive and multiplexed cytokine quantification spanning a wide dynamic range. For each highlighted optical technique, its current detection capabilities as well as associated challenges are discussed. Lastly, an outlook for nanomaterial-based cytokine sensors is provided from the perspective of optimizing the technologies for sensitivity and multiplexity as well as promoting widespread adaptations of the emerging optical techniques by lowering high thresholds currently present in the new approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: cytokine sensor; optical protein sensor; nanobiosensor; ELISA; fluorescence; colorimetry; surface plasmon resonance; photonic crystal; optical waveguide; evanescent wave cytokine sensor; optical protein sensor; nanobiosensor; ELISA; fluorescence; colorimetry; surface plasmon resonance; photonic crystal; optical waveguide; evanescent wave
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Singh, M.; Truong, J.; Reeves, W.B.; Hahm, J.-I. Emerging Cytokine Biosensors with Optical Detection Modalities and Nanomaterial-Enabled Signal Enhancement. Sensors 2017, 17, 428.

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