Noninvasive diagnostics of diseases via breath analysis has attracted considerable scientific and clinical interest for many years and become more and more promising with the rapid advancements in nanotechnology and biotechnology. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath, which are mainly blood borne, particularly provide highly valuable information about individuals’ physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Additionally, breath analysis is noninvasive, real-time, painless, and agreeable to patients. We have developed a wireless sensor array based on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) for the detection of a number of physiological indicators in breath. Seven DNA sequences were used to functionalize SWNT sensors to detect trace amount of methanol, benzene, dimethyl sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, acetone, and ethanol, which are indicators of heavy smoking, excessive drinking, and diseases such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes. Our test results indicated that DNA functionalized SWNT sensors exhibit great selectivity, sensitivity, and repeatability; and different molecules can be distinguished through pattern recognition enabled by this sensor array. Furthermore, the experimental sensing results are consistent with the Molecular Dynamics simulated ssDNAmolecular target interaction rankings. Thus, the DNA-SWNT sensor array has great potential to be applied in chemical or biomolecular detection for the noninvasive diagnostics of diseases and personal health monitoring.
The beginning of 21st century has witnessed new advancements in the design and use of new materials for biosensing applications, from nano to macro, protein to tissue. Traditional analytical methods lack a complete toolset to describe the complexities introduced by living systems, pathological relations, discrete hierarchical materials, cross-phase interactions, and structure-property dependencies. Materiomics – via systematic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation – can provide structureprocess- property relations by using a materials science approach linking mechanisms across scales and enables oriented biosensor design. With this approach, DNA biosensors can be utilized to detect disease biomarkers present in individuals’ breath such as acetone for diabetes. Our wireless sensor array based on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-decorated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) has successfully detected trace amount of various chemicals in vapor differentiated by pattern recognition. Here, we present how MD simulation can revolutionize the way of design and screening of DNA aptamers for targeting biomarkers related to oral diseases and oral health monitoring. It demonstrates great potential to be utilized to build a library of DNDA sequences for reliable detection of several biomarkers of one specific disease, and as well provides a new methodology of creating, designing, and applying of biosensors.