Biosensing is the act of using analytical devices to capture biological responses and convert them into electrical signals. According to Ali et al. (2017), biosensing is a phenomenon that withholds set techniques for the production of an accessible detection signal of interaction between biological molecules. Thus, biosensors are the analytical, molecular, and receptor-transducer devices that are used for the interpretation of biochemical properties, and in sensing molecular interactors.
Recently, attention has been drawn to the increased technology of biosensors which are designed to be high based on their selectivity, response time, linearity, and sensitivity, as against traditional methods. The new advancement in science and technology has resulted in the generation of analytical information in all areas of human life.
Biosensing applications are seen in various fields for the detection of a biological analyte, level of safety and quality, pathogens, tumors, glucose concentration, microbial invasion, and removal of contaminants. The usage of biosensors in numerous scientific disciplines has led to their prestigious outcomes. It is in this light that this piece explores biosensing applications and their types.
Biosensors have received a lot of acceptance in diverse fields, and their significant applications are seen in different disciplines, such as the food industry, agriculture, metabolic engineering, environmental monitoring, dairy industry, pathology, criminology, crime detection or forensic science, drug discovery, cancer research, medical science, fermentation industry, marine, defense, biomedical diagnostics, etc.
According to Reza et al. (2013), Biomolecules such as enzymes, antibodies, receptors, organelles, and microorganisms as well as animal and plant cells or tissues are being used as biological sensing elements. Antibodies, enzymes, and nucleic acids are the biological recognition elements for biosensor applications.
Biosensors are used in biosensing applications for the determination of compounds in foods, protection of crops from insects, observation of cellular metabolism, identification and analysis of likely toxins and contaminants, and detection of heart diseases toxic substances and organophosphate. Also, they are applied for food analysis and sensing airborne bacteria remotely.
According to Reeza et al. (2013), biosensors and biological material are related to a transducing microsystem or physicochemical transducer, either electrochemical, magnetic, optical, thermometric, micromechanical, or piezoelectric. Thus, biosensing applications are of different types. Each type of biosensing application works in a unique way though they all have a similar source. Below are the major types of biosensors.
Thermal biosensors utilize the production of heat which has a vital property of any biological reaction. They are used in the identification of pathogens and pesticides. This absorption of heat leads to changes in the temperature of the atmosphere in which the reaction occurs. The construction of thermal biosensors involves the combination of temperature sensors and immobilized enzyme molecules. Once there is a contact between the analyte and the enzyme, the enzymes' heat reaction could be evaluated.
Electrochemical biosensors are used to detect the concentration of glucose, hybridized DNA, etc. through the use of an electrochemical transducer. They could be amperometric, conductimetric, and potentiometric, based on the principle for detection. Electrochemical Biosensors change biochemical information into significant analytic signals, such as voltage or current.
They are reliant on temperature, they provide fast response, sensitivity, and practicality. They have reduced signal amplitude, monitor any biological activity that is associated with analyte’s production, and they have the ability to treat any disease that is linked with biomolecular imbalances.
Generally, electrochemical biosensors identify certain biomolecules in the body like uric acid, blood ketones, glucose, lactate, etc., and they are used in the analysis of biofluids which have higher fluorescing compounds. This has led to the invention of detectors for uric acid, cholesterol, and glucose as diagnostic devices.
This is a type of chemical biosensor that has a small size, and it is free from electrical hazards and interferences. Chemical Fibrosensors are very sensitive to ambient light, have a dynamic response limit and a long term reagent.
Optical biosensors are analytical devices that are linked with an optic transducer system. Light is vital as an output transducer signal that is weighed. Optical biosensors are either created based on electrochemiluminescence or optical diffraction. They are simple, compact, and highly sensitive, as they are used in the identification of pathogens/bacteria, monitoring tissues and cells, and detection of critical changes in the refractive index. Optical biosensors are different from the traditional forms, as they provide label-free and real-time detection of chemical substances. They are special because they are not dependent on any form of radiolabelling, or fluorescent, and they are effective in tracking molecular reactions.
They use two elements: an antibody and an acoustic wave transducer, which are coupled together.
These are a collection of analytical devices whose operations are based on oscillations change as a result of strong connection piezoelectric crystal surface. Piezoelectric biosensors are simple to use and cost-efficient. They entail the surface of the Piezoelectric surface that is being coated with a selectively binding surface.
Recently, scientific progress has led to the ability of enzymes to produce photons as a byproduct of certain reactions. They are used for the section of microorganisms such as bacteria.
The advancement witnessed in the field of Nanotechnology resulted in the development of nanobiosensors. Therefore, Nanobiosensors are applied in the fields such as the drug delivery system, biolabelling, detection of tumors, etc.
Biosensing applications are renowned for their precise ability of detection and their reduced costs. Thus, the applications of biosensing elements have made possible the easy and quick discovery of dangerous diseases such as coronavirus, Ebola, HIV, etc.
Jazib, A., Jawayria, N., Muhammad, A., Muhammad F. & Ali, R. (2017). Biosensors: Their Fundamentals, Designs, Types, and Most Recent Impactful Applications: A Review. Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics. Vol. 8 (1).
Nuggehalli, M., Camelia, P., Shanmugamurthy, F., Ivan, P. &Sushil, K. (2007). Advances in the Manufacturing, Types, and Applications of Biosensors. JOM. pp. 37-43.
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