During the past decade the fast expanding field of organic electronics had also a tremendous influence on biosensing devices.
This was not only due to the low-cost production possibilities offered by the organic devices but also due to their unique electrical properties.
Our aim is to develop new biosensors based on random carbon nanotube (CNT) networks and organic semiconductors and to incorporate them into everyday life.Such devices can be used in a wide range of sensing applications (e. g., food monitoring, detection of chemical, biological poisoning agents, environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, military defense, etc.)
In fact, for those applications, there is a need for simple, small, portable, and inexpensive sensors. Sensors based on organic semiconducting polymers and CNT networks, which are suitable for large-area, low-cost, flexible, and eventually single-use throwaway electronics, provide a unique opportunity in that sense.
Low-operating voltage field-effect transistors using a biofunctionalized, biocompatible, regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) or a CNT semiconducting layer can be used as sensors in electrolytic solutions. Measurements in electrolytic solutions and complex media relevant for cell analysis have shown that the devices can be directly used as ion-sensitive transducers and are suitable for in vitro biosensing applications. This opens new possibilities of biological sensing using organic electronic devices.
Haeberle, T. et al. Solution processable carbon nanotube network thin-film transistors operated in electrolytic solutions at various pH. Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 223101 (2012). doi: http://dx.doi.org/DOI:10.1063/1.4768683
Scarpa, G. et al. Low-cost solution-processable organic thin-film transistors for (bio)sensing applications. Sensors. IEEE, 1581-1583 (2011). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICSENS.2011.6127164