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Nanotechnology for implantable sensors: carbon nanotubes and graphene in medicine.

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Implantable sensors utilizing nanotechnology are at the forefront of diagnostic, medical monitoring, and biological technologies. These sensors are often equipped with nanostructured carbon allotropes, such as graphene or carbon nanotubes (CNTs), because of their unique and often enhanced properties over forms of bulk carbon, such as diamond or graphite. Because of these properties, the fundamental and applied research of these carbon nanomaterials have become some of the most cited topics in scientific literature in the past decades. The age of carbon nanomaterials is simply budding, however, and is expected to have a major impact in many areas. These areas include electronics, photonics, plasmonics, energy capture (including batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics), and--the emphasis of this review--biosensors and sensor technologies. The following review will discuss future prospects of the two most commonly used carbon allotropes in implantable sensors for nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, CNTs and graphene. Sufficient further reading and resources have been provided for more in-depth and specific reading that is outside the scope of this general review.