Biofunctionalized nanoparticles for point – of – care diagnostic applications
Infectious diseases are posing to be a major healthcare problem throughout the world. The contagious nature of these diseases makes it imperative for early diagnosis of the microbial cause of infection to prevent the spread of epidemics. Conventional standard diagnostic methods have limitations including laborious sample preparation, poor sensitivity and delayed data readout. Hence rapid, field deployable diagnostic modalities are in urgent need to combat the problems in identification of food contamination, direct pathogen detection from clinical samples etc. Despite clinical need, translation of biosensors from research laboratories to clinical applications has remained limited to a few notable examples, such as the glucose sensor. Nanoparticles based approach present a great opportunity to develop fast, accurate and cost effective diagnostics. The nanoparticles possess unique optical, electrical and magnetic properties based on their core materials that render them as a sensitive signalling probe. Also, nanoparticles are amenable to surface modifications and bio - functionalization which can be exploited as target specific and sensitive signalling tool in the development of diagnostic biosensors. I would like to discuss about the challenges and potentials of nanoparticles based probes towards developing a next generation point – of – care diagnostic tool.