The danger posed by biological threat agents and the limitations of modern detection methods to rapidly identify them underpins the need for continued development of novel sensors.

The application of nanomaterials to this problem in recent years has proven especially advantageous. By capitalizing on large surface/volume ratios, dispersability, beneficial physical and chemical properties, and unique nanoscale interactions, nanomaterial-based biosensors are being developed with sensitivity and accuracy that are starting to surpass traditional biothreat detection methods, yet do so with reduced sample volume, preparation time, and assay cost.

In this review, we start with an overview of bioagents and then highlight the breadth of nanoscale sensors that have recently emerged for their detection.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2016.02.018