Challenges For Nanotechnologybased Biomarker Detectors

Nanotoxicology is the greatest challenge facing nanotechnology-based biomarker detection systems. However, nanotechnology-based biomarker detection systems face many other challenges, will intensify current challenges, and present new challenges to biomarker research. The second major challenge is biofouling of biomarker detection systems. Although this is not a new challenge, it is more critical with nanodevices, where biofouling could be exacerbated due to the nanoscale of the detection systems. The need for biofouling-resistant materials will therefore be intensified.

The potential of nanotechnology applications to biomarker research can be realized fully only if there is further development of mathematical models. Understanding nanocantilever beam stresses, identification of biological signatures from nanocantilever and nanowire devices, and accurate three-dimensional reconstruction of in vivo imaging data are all areas that represent a great need for further developed mathematical models. Additionally, further optimization of all the detection systems discussed is needed to ensure repro-ducibility, statistically relevant data, and prevention of false positives. For instance, it is not fully understood why qdots with great imaging characteristics in vitro tend to experience fluorescence loss when utilized in vivo. Finally, understanding transit mechanisms of the nanoparticle systems is needed to prevent undesired pathway susceptibility, such as endosomal entrapment.

As nanotechnology- based biomarker detection systems develop, further development will also be needed in optical detection systems and in the sensitivity and selectivity of electronic devices. Despite all the barriers discussed here, the factors that will truly determine if nanoparticles and nanodevices become standard tools in the clinical biomarker toolbox are the cost, ease of integration with current infrastructure, and performance variability [100].

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