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Effects of Carbon Nanotube-Tethered Nanosphere Density on Amperometric Biosensing: Simulation and Experiment

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 17:32 by Jonathan C. Claussen, James B. Hengenius, Monique M. Wickner, Timothy S. Fisher, David M. Umulis, D. Marshall Porterfield
Nascent nanofabrication approaches are being applied to reduce electrode feature dimensions from the microscale to the nanoscale, creating biosensors that are capable of working more efficiently at the biomolecular level. The development of nanoscale biosensors has been driven largely by experimental empiricism to date. Consequently, the precise positioning of nanoscale electrode elements is typically neglected, and its impact on biosensor performance is subsequently overlooked. Herein, we present a bottom-up nanoelectrode array fabrication approach that utilizes low-density and horizontally oriented single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as a template for the growth and precise positioning of Pt nanospheres. We further develop a computational model to optimize the nanosphere spatial arrangement and elucidate the trade-offs among kinetics, mass transport, and charge transport in an enzymatic biosensing scenario. Optimized model variables and experimental results confirm that tightly packed Pt nanosphere/SWCNT nanobands outperform low-density Pt nanosphere/SWCNT arrays in enzymatic glucose sensing. These computational and experimental results demonstrate the profound impact of nanoparticle placement on biosensor performance. This integration of bottom-up nanoelectrode array templating with analysis-informed design produces a foundation for controlling and optimizing nanotechnology-based electrochemical biosensor performance.