From their discovery, CNTs have increasingly attracted interest because of
their peculiar electrical, mechanical, and chemical properties. In 1991,
Sumio Iijima first observed and described in detail the atomic arrangement
of this new type of carbon structure . By a technique used for fullerene
synthesis, he produced needle-like tubes at the cathode of an arc-discharge
evaporator. From that time, carbon nanotubes have been used for many
applications and represent one of the most typical building blocks used in
nanotechnology. Their peculiarities include unique properties of field
emission and electronic transport, higher mechanical strength with respect
to other materials, and interesting chemical features.
The use of CNTs has recently gained momentum in the development of
electrochemical biosensors, since their utilization can create devices with
enhanced sensitivity and detection limit capable of detecting compounds in
concentrations comparable to those present in the human body.
This chapter will review the most important features of carbon nanotubes, and
present an example in which their application can enhance the detection of
drugs and metabolites relevant in personalized medicine: P450 biosensors for
therapeutic drug monitoring.
Carbon is a very interesting element, since it can assume several stable
molecular structures. Any molecule entirely composed of carbon is called a