Duan Research Group

Hetero-integrated Nanostructures and Nanodevices


Real-time electrical detection of nitric oxide in biological systems with sub-nanomolar sensitivity

S. Jiang, R. Cheng, X. Wang, T. Xue, Y. Liu, A. Nel, Y. Huang and X. Duan

Nature Commun. 4, 2225 (2013)


Real-time monitoring of nitric oxide concentrations is of central importance for probing the diverse roles of nitric oxide in neurotransmission, cardiovascular systems and immune responses. Here we report a new design of nitric oxide sensors based on hemin-functionalized graphene field-effect transistors. With its single atomic thickness and the highest carrier mobility among all materials, graphene holds the promise for unprecedented sensitivity for molecular sensing. The non-covalent functionalization through p–p stacking interaction allows reliable immobilization of hemin molecules on graphene without damaging the graphene lattice to ensure the highly sensitive and specific detection of nitric oxide. Our studies demonstrate that the graphene–hemin sensors can respond rapidly to nitric oxide in physiological environments with a sub-nanomolar sensitivity. Furthermore, in vitro studies show that the graphene–hemin sensors can be used for the detection of nitric oxide released from macrophage cells and endothelial cells, demonstrating their practical functionality in complex biological systems.
UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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E-mail: xduan@chem.ucla.edu