In a FinnCERES project, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from VTT and Aalto University is developing fast, highly sensitive, and selective small molecule sensors that can detect drugs with incredible precision.
The novelty in this technology is the combination of carbon nanoparticles with bio-based nanocellulose. The nanocellulose helps to disperse the carbon nanotubes which in turn boosts small molecule detection. This innovative approach enables the detection of toxic drug molecules in ultra-low quantities, potentially saving lives by providing timely intervention.
While the combination of these materials not only offer exceptional sensitivity it also offers high selectivity, addressing a significant challenge in the field.While existing methods struggle to detect drugs at extremely low concentrations fast, carbon nanotubes and nanocellulose sensors have achieved fast detection in the nanomolar range.
Beyond medical use, the potential of this technology extends to areas like gas sensing and wastewater treatment. It could lead to a solution where antibiotic residues can be detected in wastewater, enriched, and degraded before they reach our oceans.