Detection of bacteria and viruses with fluorescent nanotubes

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3D printed model of a carbon nanotube, the main building block for the new biose
3D printed model of a carbon nanotube, the main building block for the new biosensors. Unlike in this 3D printed model, the real nanotubes are 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.
The new sensor design resembles a molecular toolbox that can be used to quickly assemble sensors for a variety of purposes.

An interdisciplinary research team from Bochum, Duisburg and Zurich has developed a new approach to construct modular optical sensors which are capable of detecting viruses and bacteria. For this purpose, the researchers used fluorescent carbon nanotubes with a novel type of DNA anchors that act as molecular handles. The anchor structures can be used to conjugate biological recognition units such as antibodies aptamers to the nanotubes. The recognition unit can subsequently interact with bacterial or viral molecules to the nanotubes. These interactions effect the fluorescence of the nanotubes and increase or decrease their brightness. ...
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