Applications of Nanobiotechnology inClinical Diagnostics
Kewal K. Jain
Nanobiotechnologies are being applied tomolecular diagnostics and several technologies are indevelopment.
This review describes nanobiotechnologiesthat are already incorporated in molecular diagnostics orhave potential applications in clinical diagnosis. Se-lected promising technologies from published literatureas well as some technologies that are in commercialdevelopment but have not been reported are included.
Nanotechnologies enable diagnosis at the sin-gle-cell and molecule levels, and some can be incorpo-rated in current molecular diagnostic methods, such asbiochips. Nanoparticles, such as gold nanoparticles andquantum dots, are the most widely used, but variousother nanotechnological devices for manipulation at thenanoscale as well as nanobiosensors are also promisingfor potential clinical applications.
Nanotechnologies will extend the limitsof current molecular diagnostics and enable point-of-care diagnostics, integration of diagnostics with thera-peutics, and development of personalized medicine.Although the potential diagnostic applications are un-limited, the most important current applications areforeseen in the areas of biomarker discovery, cancerdiagnosis, and detection of infectious microorganisms.Safety studies are needed for in vivo use. Because of itsclose interrelationships with other technologies, nano-biotechnology in clinical diagnosis will play an impor-tant role in the development of nanomedicine in thefuture.
© 2007 American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Nanomolecular diagnostics, the use of nanobiotechnologyin molecular diagnostics
, and nanobiotechnology, theuse of various nanotechnologies and their applications inlife sciences
offer new options for clinical diagnosticprocedures. No recognized classification system for nano-diagnostics is currently in use, but a proposed systemwith the main categories of technologies is shown in Table1. Further descriptions of some of these categories areprovided in subsequent sections of this review. Nanopar-ticle biolabels are listed in Table 2 and are described indetail elsewhere
. Molecular diagnostics is an essentialpart of the development of personalized medicine, whichfeatures point-of-care performance of diagnostic proce-dures. This report focuses on the application of thesetechnologies in the clinical laboratory setting. Interrela-tionships of nanotechnology and molecular diagnosticsand their role in nanomedicine as well as personalizedmedicine are shown schematically in Fig. 1.Nanoscale probes are suitable for detailed analysis ofreceptors, pores, and other components of living cells thatare on a nanoscale. Thus nanotechnology can be used toimprove PCR as well as provide non-PCR methods forrapid diagnostics. Advantages of applying nanotechnol-ogy to molecular diagnostics are that only small amountsof sample material are needed and that diagnostic teststhat use nanoscale particles as tags or labels are faster andmore sensitive
. Nanoparticles can also be used tocombine diagnostics with therapeutics.
Nanotechnology-Based Biochips and Microarrays
Nanotechnology on a chip is a new paradigm for totalchemical analysis systems
. The ability to make chem-ical and biological information easier and less costly toobtain will impact molecular diagnostics and healthcare.Some examples of devices that incorporate nanotechnol-ogy-based biochips and microarrays are nanofluidic ar-rays and protein nanobiochips. These devices can beadapted for point-of-care use.One of the more promising uses of nanofluidic devicesis isolation and analysis of individual biomolecules, suchas DNA. This capability could lead to new detectionschemes for cancer. One such device entails the construc-tion of silicon nanowires on a substrate, or chip, usingstandard photolithographic and etching techniques, fol-lowed by a chemical oxidation step that converts the
Jain PharmaBiotech, Basel, Switzerland.Address correspondence to the author at: Jain PharmaBiotech, Blaesiring7, CH-4057 Basel, Switzerland. Fax 4161-692-44-61; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Received April 24, 2007; accepted August 28, 2007.Previously published online at DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2007.090795
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