The biosensor has been shown to be more than five times more sensitive than bioassay tests currently in use.

It was able to provide results in a matter of minutes opening up the possibility of a rapid diagnostic tool for patients, British researchers reported.

"Graphene has superb electronic transport properties and has an intrinsically high surface-to-volume ratio which makes it an ideal material for fabricating biosensors," said study co-author Owen Guy from the University of Swansea.

To develop a viable bionsensor, the researchers did not use the traditional exfoliation technique where layers of graphene are stripped from graphite.

Instead, they grew graphene onto a silicon carbide substrate under extremely high temperatures and low pressure to form the basis of the biosensor, before attaching a number of bioreceptor molecules to the graphene devices.

These receptors were able to bind to, or target, a specific molecule present in blood, saliva or urine.

Researchers highlighted the potential of the biosensor to diagnose and monitor a whole range of diseases as it is quite simple to substitute the specific receptor molecules on the graphene surface.

The paper was reported in the journal 2D Materials.

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