Nano Res. 2022 May 20:1-15. doi: 10.1007/s12274-022-4379-2. Online ahead of print.
With an increasing global population that is rapidly ageing, our society faces challenges that impact health, environment, and energy demand. With this ageing comes an accumulation of cellular changes that lead to the development of diseases and susceptibility to infections. This impacts not only the health system, but also the global economy. As the population increases, so does the demand for energy and the emission of pollutants, leading to a progressive degradation of our environment. This in turn impacts health through reduced access to arable land, clean water, and breathable air. New monitoring approaches to assist in environmental control and minimize the impact on health are urgently needed, leading to the development of new sensor technologies that are highly sensitive, rapid, and low-cost. Nanopore sensing is a new technology that helps to meet this purpose, with the potential to provide rapid point-of-care medical diagnosis, real-time on-site pollutant monitoring systems to manage environmental health, as well as integrated sensors to increase the efficiency and storage capacity of renewable energy sources. In this review we discuss how the powerful approach of nanopore based single-molecule, or particle, electrical promises to overcome existing and emerging societal challenges, providing new opportunities and tools for personalized medicine, localized environmental monitoring, and improved energy production and storage systems.