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Techniques & Tools Sensors, Spectroscopy, Clinical

Good As Gold

Wearable sensors can provide researchers and clinicians with 24/7 insights – and the more accurate, sensitive and specific the data, the better. Now, a group of researchers from the University of Tokyo, Japan, have developed a new ultrathin biosensor, spun from gold, that uses surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) (1). Importantly for the wearer, the sensor can be applied directly to the skin with no irritation or discomfort.

The new technology is easy to fabricate, highly scalable, and low-cost, and it enables the identification of diverse analytes at low concentrations – including sweat biomarkers, drugs of abuse, and microplastics. Given that previous wearable SERS sensors – produced via complicated fabrication processes and offering only limited sensing capabilities – have not typically been suitable for widespread use, the gold biosensor really stands out from the crowd as a significant step towards generalizability and practicality. And the team say they are looking to push both the sensitivity and the specificity even further in the future, with an eye on virus detection or glucose monitoring.


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  1. L Liu et al., Adv. Opt. Mater., 2200054 (2022). DOI: 10.1002/adom.202200054
About the Author
Margot Lespade

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

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