Graphene-Encapsulated Nanoparticle-Based Biosensor for Biomarker Detection and Its Use in Early Diagnosis of Cancer, HIV and Other Diseases

Device Schematic

Invention Summary:

The detection of biomarker proteins with high sensitivity and selectivity is vital for the early diagnosis of many diseases such as cancer and HIV. Rutgers scientists have developed a reduced graphene oxide encapsulated nanoparticle (rGO-NPs)-based field effect transistor (FET) biosensor for sensitive detection of key disease biomarker proteins including cancer markers. This invention is a FET with a source electrode and a drain electrode distanced apart from each other on a semiconductor substrate, and a gate electrode consisting of a uniform layer of rGO-NPs. The researchers have demonstrated the application of the biosensor for highly sensitive and selective detection of cancer biomarkers.

The novel 3D structure of graphene-encapsulated NPs significantly increases the surface-to-volume ratio in FET-type biosensors, thereby improving the detection limits (1 pM for HER2 and 100 pM for EGFR) for the target cancer biomarkers. The biosensor also exhibits high selectivity as low concentrations of the target cancer biomarkers can be detected in the presence of a highly concentrated bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution. The ease of fabrication and biocompatibility, along with excellent electrochemical and electrical properties of graphene nanocomposites, makes the graphene-encapsulated NP-based biosensor an ideal candidate for future biosensing applications in a clinical setting.

Market Applications:

  • Diagnostic device for early detection of disease biomarker proteins in human blood or tissue samples
  • Tool for basic biomarker research


High sensitivity, selectivity, and biocompatibility; simple device structure and fabrication process; small in size; allowing label-free detection and real-time monitoring of biomarkers.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University