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Accurately Detecting Trace-Level Infectious Agents by an Electro-Enhanced Graphene Transistor

    The global healthcare system is continually threatened by infectious diseases caused by infectious pathogens such as influenza virus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), SARS-CoV-2, rhinovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Given this, the swift and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases is crucial in preventing the spread of epidemics. In this context, Dr. Dacheng Wei and his team from the Department of Polymer Science at Fudan University have conducted research on detecting infectious agents with high sensitivity and specificity using graphene transistors. Their research employed an electro-enhanced strategy for liquid-gated graphene field-effect transistors (LG-GFETs) to attain precision in detecting infectious diseases. The application of gate voltage to the LG-GFETs facilitated the concentration of analytes at the sensing interface, resulting in a signal amplification of 10-fold and a detection limit of 5×10−16 g mL−1.

Figure 1. Operational procedure of the electrically induced graphene transistor for detecting infectious pathogens

    The team evaluated 402 clinical samples, including tuberculosis, COVID-19, and human rhinovirus, and reported a sensitivity of 97.3% (181/186) and a specificity of 98.6% (213/216) with a response time of less than 60 seconds. The study overcomes the challenges of balancing response time and accuracy in clinical applications and showcases the technology's unique potential in population-based screening of infectious diseases.

Figure 2. Principle and detection performance of the electro-enhanced strategy

    The first author of the study, Changhao Dai, is a PhD candidate at the Department of Polymer Science at Fudan University, while the corresponding authors are Dr. Dacheng Wei and Dr. Mingquan Guo from the Shanghai Public Health Center. The research received support from the National Key R&D Program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission, and Fudan University, along with input from academic advisors such as Dr. Yunqi Liu from the Laboratory of Molecular Materials and Devices at Fudan University, Dr. Andrew T. S. Wee from the National University of Singapore, and Prof. Jilie Kong from the Department of Chemistry at Fudan University.

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    Accurately Detecting Trace-Level Infectious Agents by an Electro-Enhanced Graphene Transistor

    Changhao Dai, Yi Yang, Huiwen Xiong, Xuejun Wang, Jian Gou, Pintao Li, Yungen Wu, Yiheng Chen, Derong Kong, Yuetong Yang, Daizong Ji, Jilie Kong, Andrew Thye Shen Wee, Yunqi Liu, Mingquan Guo*, Dacheng Wei*

    Adv. Funct. Mater., 2023, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202300151

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