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TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Volume 132, 2020, 116038

Nanomaterial-mediated paper-based biosensors for colorimetric pathogen detection

Quynh Huong Nguyen, Moon Il Kim

Department of BioNano Technology, Gachon University, 1342 Seongnamdae-ro, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi 13120, Republic of Korea.


The pervasive spread of infectious diseases and pandemics, such as the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), are becoming increasingly serious and urgent threats to human health. Preventing the spread of such diseases prioritizes the development of sensing devices that can rapidly, selectively, and reliably detect pathogens at minimal cost. Paper-based analytical devices (PADs) are promising tools that satisfy those criteria. Numerous paper-based biosensors have been established that rival conventional pathogen detection methods. Among them, colorimetric strategies are promising since results can be interpreted by eye, and are simple to operate, which is advantageous for point-of-care testing (POCT). Particularly, the application of nanomaterials on paper-based biosensors has become important as these materials are capable of converting signals from pathogens through unique mechanisms to yield an amplified colorimetric readout. To highlight the research progress on using nanomaterials in colorimetric paper-based biosensor for pathogen detection, we discuss the sensing mechanisms of how they work, structural and analytical characteristics of the devices, and representative recent applications. Current challenges and future directions of using PADs and nanomaterial-mediated strategies are also discussed.

Keywords: Paper-based analytical devices, Colorimetric biosensors, Pathogen detection, Nanomaterials, Point-of-care testing.

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