MIPT delivers world’s first biosensor chips of unprecedented sensitivity

Researchers at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), a top technology university in Russia, have developed new biosensor chips of “unprecedentedly high sensitivity.” They replaced gold, which is typically used in such devices, with copper.

The approach is expected to not only lower the cost of the end solutions but also make biosensor manufacturing technology much simpler, the developers said.

In their experiments, nanooptics and plasmonics specialists at MIPT’s Center for Photonics and 2D Materials used copper and graphene oxide to create the key sensitive element of their biosensor. That reportedly resulted in a dramatically increased sensitivity without any noticeable change in chip configuration, which makes the new solution compatible with the biosensors that are currently available in the market, such as Biacore, Reichert, BioNavis or BiOptix.

All leading pharmas use biosensor chips to develop all sorts of drugs; the chips help study molecular kinetics. They also provide the basis for a wide range of chemical analyzers that “sniff out” hazardous substances in the air, water or foodstuffs, help look for molecules which could serve as markers to identify diseases, find leaks at chemical production sites, etc.

With copper used instead of gold in biosensing devices, new bright prospects are opening up in the development of compact biosensor solutions for mobile gadgets, wearable electronics and “smart” clothes.