Organic Semiconducting Nanoparticles for Biosensor: A Review

Biosensors (Basel). 2023 Apr 21;13(4):494. doi: 10.3390/bios13040494.


Highly bio-compatible organic semiconductors are widely used as biosensors, but their long-term stability can be compromised due to photo-degradation and structural instability. To address this issue, scientists have developed organic semiconductor nanoparticles (OSNs) by incorporating organic semiconductors into a stable framework or self-assembled structure. OSNs have shown excellent performance and can be used as high-resolution biosensors in modern medical and biological research. They have been used for a wide range of applications, such as detecting small biological molecules, nucleic acids, and enzyme levels, as well as vascular imaging, tumor localization, and more. In particular, OSNs can simulate fine particulate matters (PM2.5, indicating particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm) and can be used to study the biodistribution, clearance pathways, and health effects of such particles. However, there are still some problems that need to be solved, such as toxicity, metabolic mechanism, and fluorescence intensity. In this review, based on the structure and design strategies of OSNs, we introduce various types of OSNs-based biosensors with functional groups used as biosensors and discuss their applications in both in vitro and in vivo tracking. Finally, we also discuss the design strategies and potential future trends of OSNs-based biosensors. This review provides a theoretical scaffold for the design of high-performance OSNs-based biosensors and highlights important trends and future directions for their development and application.

Keywords: biosensors; in vitro tracking; in vivo tracking; organic semiconducting nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques* / methods
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Quantum Dots*
  • Semiconductors
  • Tissue Distribution

Grants and funding

This research was funded by Young Taishan Scholars under grant 201909120.