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Malinowska, Klara H. and Nash, Michael A. (2016): Enzyme- and affinity biomolecule-mediated polymerization systems for biological signal amplification and cell screening. In: Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Vol. 39: pp. 68-75

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Enzyme-mediated polymerization and polymerization-based signal amplification have emerged as two closely related techniques that are broadly applicable in the nanobio sciences. We review recent progress on polymerization systems mediated by biological molecules (e.g., affinity molecules and enzymes), and highlight newly developed formats and configurations of these systems to perform such tasks as non-instrumented biodetection, synthesis of core-shell nanomaterials, isolation of rare cells, and high-throughput screening. We discuss useful features of biologically mediated polymerization systems, such as multiple mechanisms of amplification (e.g., enzymatic, radical chain propagation), and the ability to localize structures at interfaces and at cell surfaces with microscopic spatial confinement. We close with a perspective on desirable improvements that need to be addressed to adapt these molecular systems to future applications.

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