Nanocrystalline iron oxides, composites, and related materials as a platform for electrochemical, magnetic, and chemical biosensors

Veronika Urbanova, Massimiliano Magro, Aharon Gedanken, Davide Baratella, Fabio Vianello, Radek Zboril

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


This review represents a comprehensive attempt to summarize and discuss various sensing applications of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs), which have attracted a great deal of attention over recent years because of their easy preparation, biocompatibility, nontoxicity, and broad range of biomedical applications. We review the application potential of nanomagnetite based amperometic sensors possessing an intrinsic enzyme mimetic activity similar to that found in natural peroxidases. In addition, we discuss the properties and applications of enzymatic sensors exploiting glucose oxidase, tyrosinase, and other enzymes for sensing a variety of important biomedical species. Among iron oxide-based nanocomposites, we highlight the use of Fe3O4@Au hybrids for designing new electrochemical aptasensors with unique versatility for binding diverse targets, including proteins and peptides. Similarly, sensing applications of composites of iron oxide NPs with graphene derivatives and carbon nanotubes are reviewed. A large part of the review focuses on the development of DNA sensors and iron oxide based immunosensors for the detection of biological and chemical pathogens, contaminants, and other important analytes. Attention is also given to nonelectrochemical sensing, including various types of magnetic, fluorescence, and surface plasmon resonance sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6653-6673
Number of pages21
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Chemical Society.


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