"In the future, we will be able to create a DNA sequence that is complementary to the carbon nanotubes and is compatible with specific biosensor enzymes for the many different compounds we want to measure," Porterfield said. Choi continued, "Once the carbon nanotubes are in a solution, you only have to place the electrode into the solution and charge it. The carbon nanotubes will then coat the surface,"
The floating tubes will indicate the presence of the specific enzyme which can be measured and reported externally.The sensor described in the findings is designed for glucose, however, the technology can be adapted for other compounds.
"You could mass produce these sensors for diabetes, for example, for insulin management for diabetic patients," Porterfield said.
While nanotubes are still in the research phase, they've come a long way from their discovery and mass creation. Once they can be cheaply produced, research like this will help us press them into service around the scientific and technological worlds.