Graphene’s unique properties and high sensitivity has made the material highly sought after as a component in a variety of sensor-based applications, from body-worn sensors that collect biometric data to sensors that test saliva or blood for infectious diseases like COVID-19.
A research team from University of Manchester has developed a simple, inexpensive test for detecting antibodies for kidney disease using a graphene-based biointerface. According to Phys.org, the team studied how biomolecules absorb on the surface of graphene oxide, eventually developing a way to add antibody receptor molecules to a protein-based layer formed on the graphene surface. This ensures only the antibody the test looks for will attach to the graphene surface.
The test is fast and simple, and can deliver results in less than 10 minutes, the team says. For now, most kidney disease antibody testing happens in specialty clinics. The wide availability of this new method could see regular clinics start offering it to patients.
“Using our cheap and compact instrument, a healthcare technician can simply place a small drop of sample to be tested on the graphene-coated chip, and the test result will be displayed in as little as 10 minutes,” University of Manchester research associated Dr. Daniel Melendrez told Phys.org.