A small graphene based sensor that can be used to detect bacteria is presented in Nature Communications this week. This could open up new possibilities for monitoring infectious agents on a range of biological tissues.
Graphene is characterized by unique physical properties that are promising for a range of potential applications. Michael McAlpine and colleagues take advantage of these in order to fabricate a biodetector capable of sensing individual bacteria. By printing the graphene on a thin film of silk, they can transfer the sensor onto different biomaterials including tooth enamel. This provides a highly sensitive platform for detecting biochemical targets.
Because of its highly elastic nature, the graphene based biodetector may be integrated onto softer biomaterials, a fact that could have important implications for the way bacteria are monitored in the future.