Biosensing and Delivery of Nucleic Acids Involving Selected Well-Known and Rising Star Functional Nanomaterials

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In the last fifteen years, the nucleic acid biosensors and delivery area has seen a breakthrough due to the interrelation between the recognition of nucleic acid’s high specificity, the great sensitivity of electrochemical and optical transduction and the unprecedented opportunities imparted by nanotechnology. Advances in this area have demonstrated that the assembly of nanoscaled materials allows the performance enhancement, particularly in terms of sensitivity and response time, of functional nucleic acids’ biosensing and delivery to a level suitable for the construction of point-of-care diagnostic tools. Consequently, this has propelled detection methods using nanomaterials to the vanguard of the biosensing and delivery research fields. This review overviews the striking advancement in functional nanomaterials’ assisted biosensing and delivery of nucleic acids. We highlight the advantages demonstrated by selected well-known and rising star functional nanomaterials (metallic, magnetic and Janus nanomaterials) focusing on the literature produced in the past five years.