Anton Alexandru Ciucu
University of Bucharest, Romania
Anton Alexandru Ciucu completed his MSc in 1979 in Department of Biochemistry, University of Bucharest. In 1987, he completed his PhD in Chemistry at Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. Since 2000, he is a Professor of Analytical Biochemistry at University of Bucharest. He was a Visiting Professor at University of Louisville, Chemistry department, USA (1991-1992). He was the Vice-Director of the Center for Research and Development of Bio-analytical Techniques (1999-2007). Since 1980, his research interests include “The development of nanomaterial-based sensors, electrochemical biosensors, DNA biosensors, devices for environmental, security, and clinical monitoring”. He has authored over 84 research papers, six books, and two patents and has presented more than 130 scientific communications, plenary lectures at different international conferences.
Biosensing is a field of interest for analytical chemists for more than 40 years, with excellent results in fields like environment, clinical and food analysis. The detection of DNA has a particular interest in genetics, pathology, criminology, pharmacogenetics and food safety. Biotechnology related to DNA immobilization on electroactive surfaces was used for the determination of a wide range of biomolecules. Nowadays carbon allotropes e.g., synthetic mono-crystalline diamond, fullerenes, and carbon nanotubes are among the most popular matrices for construction of biosensors, due to their unique electrochemical features, such as high electrical conductivity and catalyst support. Our efforts in this domain aim for the construction and characterization of different DNA based biosensors for detection of important (bio) molecules like neurotransmitters, DNA or gene sequences. In the medical field, the monitoring of the neurotransmitters in depressive patients represents a major demand focusing on the health state of the patients, with social and economic effects. High concentration levels of neurotransmitters in the human body were connected to different types of tumors, heart diseases and circulatory system diseases. We develop a novel assay for the electrochemical detection of guanine based on carbon nanotubes paste electrodes modified with cobalt phthalocyanine. We highlight some modern aspects of DNA biosensors based on carbonaceous materials used in amperometric sensing, a detection method which has already found a large number of applications in health care, food industry and environmental analysis. Some relevant applications of DNA based biosensors to real sample analysis of some important neurotransmitters and some possible future trends are presented. The advantages of short analysis time and combination with nanotechnology for increasing the sensitivity make the modified electrodes worthy of special emphasis in the non-labeled detection of DNA hybridization reaction and in the development of DNA based biosensors for toxins and pathogens determination.