Nanobiosensors, which will make point-of-care testing in GP's surgeries a reality, have the potential to account for 50 per cent of the biosensor market by 2020, according to a University of Southampton student who will graduate on Friday (17 July).
As part of his final year project, Stanko Nedic, who has just completed an MEng in Electronic Engineering at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) conducted a review of mainstream biosensors and compared them with high performance biosensors based on materials such as nanowires and nanotubes.
He found that modern biosensors used for medical testing are inappropriate for point-of-care diagnostics due to several limitations associated with them and that these constraints can be addressed by the use of highly-portable, cost-effective and high performance nanobiosensors which can readily detect glucose and many other biomolecules simultaneously and with ultra high sensitivity.
'The demand for nanobiosensors is rising fast in response to the increase in obesity and diabetes,' said Stanko. 'However, several roadblocks for commercialisation of nanobiosensors have been identified, most important of which is the need for low cost mass production schemes.'
Stanko's supervisor, Professor Peter Ashburn, Head of the Nano Research Group at ECS has just got £1.33 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop a unique method for fabricating nanowires, so that blood-testing kits can be mass-produced.
The new Southampton Nanofabrication Centre which provides one of Europe's leading multidisciplinary and state-of-the-art clean room complexes, which will open in September, will make cost-effective mass production of such kits a reality.