Nanotechniques in proteomics: current status, promises and challenges
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Proteomics has witnessed rapid growth over the last decade, with increasing emphasis on development of robust and high-throughput technologies to understand the diverse proteome. Researchers have gone beyond traditional techniques and approached promising disciplines like nanotechnology to satisfy the growing demands of studying numerous complex and functional proteins. Applications of nanotechniques in proteomics have steadily been growing over the years and it has established itself as a technical platform for sensitive detection of low abundance proteins in shorter time. The main focus of this interdisciplinary approach is to increase the sensitivity and improve biocompatibility. The most promising candidates for nanoproteomics, namely carbon nanotubes and nanowires, quantum dots and nanoscopic gold particles, offer several advantages such as high sensitivity, real-time measurements and improved reproducibility. However, toxicity and biocompatibility issues for in vivo applicability require further exploration to provide a suitable risk-to-benefit assessment of these emerging nanotechniques. This article highlights the current status and key technological advances of nanotechniques that offer promising applications in proteomics and addresses their prospects, merits and challenges. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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