Towards biosensors based on conducting polymer nanowires
We report the electrochemical deposition of poly(pyrrolepropylic acid) nanowires, their covalent modification with antibodies and their conversion into potential functional sensor devices. The nanowires and the devices were characterised by optical microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and electrical measurements. Fluorescence images, current-voltage (I-V) profiles and real-time sensing measurements demonstrated a rapid and highly sensitive and selective detection of human serum albumin (HSA), a substance that has been used to diagnose incipient renal disease. The detection is based on the selective binding of HSA onto anti-HSA that is covalently attached to the nanowires. The binding changes the electrical properties of the nanowires thus enabling the real-time detection. Whilst the utility of the research was demonstrated for protein binding/detection, the technology could easily be designed for the detection of other analytes by the modification of polymer nanowires with other analyte-specific molecules/biomolecules. Therefore, the technology has the potential to positively impact broad analytical applications in the biomedical, environmental and other sectors. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.