Biomolecule-Based Optical Metamaterials: Design and Applications.
Metamaterials are broadly defined as artificial, electromagnetically homogeneous structures that exhibit unusual physical properties that are not present in nature. They possess extraordinary capabilities to bend electromagnetic waves. Their size, shape and composition can be engineered to modify their characteristics, such as iridescence, color shift, absorbance at different wavelengths, etc., and harness them as biosensors. Metamaterial construction from biological sources such as carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids represents a low-cost alternative, rendering high quantities and yields. In addition, the malleability of these biomaterials makes it possible to fabricate an endless number of structured materials such as composited nanoparticles, biofilms, nanofibers, quantum dots, and many others, with very specific, invaluable and tremendously useful optical characteristics. The intrinsic characteristics observed in biomaterials make them suitable for biomedical applications. This review addresses the optical characteristics of metamaterials obtained from the major macromolecules found in nature: carbohydrates, proteins and DNA, highlighting their biosensor field use, and pointing out their physical properties and production paths.
Peer reviewed: True