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• It is simply a device which converts the biological
response to electrical signal.
• A biosensor is a device that detects, records, and transmits
information regarding a physiological change or the
presence of various chemical or biological materials in the
environment. More technically, a biosensor is a probe that
integrates a biological component, such as a whole
bacterium or a biological product (e.g., an enzyme or
antibody) with an electronic component to yield a
measurable signal.
Characters of biosensors.
• Highly specific.
• Reaction independent of physical parameters like ph temp
• Biocompatible and cheap.
• Should have market value.
• Should be accurate and precise.
Parts of biosensor.
Carbon Nanotubes.
• Here,carbon atom are rolled in to sheet of 1 nanometer.
• Here emit light after absorbing light in infrared region.This
wavelength are not blocked by body fluid so information
of body obtained.
• This carbon nanotubes are modified in such a manner that
when binds to target and there is change in there
fluorescence dimensions from which molecule present can
be determined.
Types of Biosensors.
• Optical biosensors.
• Electrochemical sensing biosensors.
• Enzymatic biosensors.
• Optical biosensors based on surface plasma resonance.
• Electrochemical sensing biosensors based on amperometric
sensing,conductimetric sensing.
• In amperometric sensing where an increasing potential is
applied to the cell until oxidation of the substance to be
analyzed occurs. This results in sharp rise in the cell current
to give a peak current. The height of this peak current will
be directly proportional to the concentration of the
electroactive species.
• Condutimetric sensors utilize relationship between
conductance and ionic species concentration to measure
concentration of substrate.
• Enzymatic biosensors are one of the well known sensors and
easy to use. e.g.. Glucose biosensors.
• In a glucose sensor an enzyme acts as a biorecognition
element, which recognizes glucose molecules. These enzyme
molecules are located on an electrode surface, which acts as a
transducer. As soon as the enzyme recognizes the glucose
molecules, it acts as a catalyst to produce gluconic acid and
hydrogen peroxide from glucose and oxygen from the air. The
electrode easily recognizes the number of electron transfer due
to hydrogen peroxide/oxygen coupling. This electron flow is
proportional to the number of glucose molecules present in
Application in various fields.
1).Environmental field.
a) For measuring concentration of various metal ions by the by
genetically modified organisms or by specific protein.
b) BOD measurement in waste water treatment.And for
detection of polyaromatic hydrocarbon in water.
2).Food industry.
a) For monitoring key analyts like glucose etc
b) For detection of biogenic amines(food freshness marker)
determining parameters in wine industry etc
3).Medical research.
1) For the monitoring of the glutamate and acetyl choline
which is the main cause in neuro degenerative
diseases.Analysis of micro dialysis sample.
4).In biotechnological process.
1). For determining proteins and peptides and also the
intracellular proteins and plasmids.
Gene based biosensors.
• A gene-based biosensor is being used to monitor and
optimize bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(PAHs), benzene, toluene, and carcinogens. A university
researcher in Tennessee is testing the effectiveness of
genetically engineered Pseudomonas fluorescens in
degrading the PAHs. A gene for bioluminescence has been
fused to the bacterial genes coding for enzymes that
metabolize the contaminants. It is hoped that, as the PAHs are
degraded, the bacteria will produce light and the extent of
PAH reduction can be quantified using fiber- optics.
• Here, looking for a way to use light to detect cancer-
causing agents in groundwater. So they attached to the end
of an optical fi ber an antibody that reacts specifically with
the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). The anti-BaP
antibody on the end of the fiber was immersed in a sample
of groundwater. The antibody was allowed to bind the BaP
in the ground water sample. The antibody-BaP reaction
product gives off light if illuminated by light of the right
wavelength. So the right light was aimed through the fiber
into the groundwater sample. After 5 to 10 minutes, the
reaction product fluoresced , and the fluorescence was
transmitted back up the fiber and measured.
Medical telesensors.
• Used by us troops,in which a small sensor is attached to there
body which detects the temperature constantly and transmit
data to the medical center.
• Can also be used to detect blood pressure has fall in the
pressure of blood can be detected.
• It is expects that a chip can be developed to measure blood
oxygen level. As the blood oxygen level changes, the color of
hemoglobin in blood is altered. Such a chip would have a light
source and light detector that could measure changes in the
color of hemoglobin transmitted when it is illuminated by
light. The results are reported by wireless telemetry.
• It act has the physical,chemical,biological sensor by
detecting changing in bending of microcantilever.
• Used to detect flow rate,viscosity,density.
• Bonding of the chemical with it will cause the adsorption
stress which can be detected.
• When molecules are added to its surface, the extent to
which the plank bends can be measured accurately by
bouncing a light beam off the surface and measuring the
extent to which the light beam is deflected.
• Yet another example of a biosensor is based on detection of light
emitted by a specially engineered microorganism that is involved in
bioremediation. However, in this case the light originates from a
particular protein that has been installed in certain bacteria by modern
molecular genetic methods. In one case, the gene for luciferase is
placed in the operon (a sequence of genes that specify enzymes that
carry out a related series of metabolic steps) that is responsible for
degrading unwanted chemicals such as toluene, an organic solvent.
When the bacteria are metabolizing the toluene, the genetic control
mechanism also turns on the synthesis of the enzyme luciferase,
which produces light in the presence of oxygen.
• Here, recently investigated a new generation of biosensors using
DNA probes (DNA Biochip). Probe recognition is based on the
molecular hybridization process, which involves the joining of a
strand of nucleic acid with a complementary sequence.
Biologically active DNA probes are directly immobilized on
optical transducers which allow detection of Raman,fluorescent
probe labels. DNA biosensors could have useful applications in
areas where nucleic acid identification is involved. The DNA
probes could be used to diagnose genetic susceptibility and
diseases. The Biochip using antibody probes has recently been
developed to detect the p53 protein system.
Biosensors in food born disease.
• The sensor is made of a small piece of optical fiber -- a clear, solid, plastic
material that transmits light through its core. The fiber is coated with an
antibody that specifically recognizes L. monocytogenes and captures it,
binding it to the fiber. When the fiber is placed in a liquid food solution, any
L. monocytogenes in the sample stick to the fiber.
• The presence of L. monocytogenes is verified by adding a second antibody
that recognizes L. monocytogenes and carries a molecule that produces a
fluorescent glow when exposed to laser light. This antibody attaches to the
L.monocytogenes bound to the fiber and acts as a flag, signaling the
pathogen's presence when laser light is passed through the liquid.
• Here based on the detection of the Staphylococcal enterotoxin
A.Here,antibody is attached to the biochip to which toxin attaches and then
the another specific antibody can be added which bound to the specific toxin
and that latter can be detected.
• Another example of a biosensor is the plasmon sensor, which consists of a
monolayer of immunoproteins immobilized on the surface of a thin film of
gold. The analyte -- whatever compound binds to the protein employed --
attaches to the immunoprotein and changes the properties of surface
electromagnetic waves that can be excited in the gold film. This change,
which signifies the presence of the analyte, can be detected optically.
• Use labeled antibody or protein to detect the pollutant.If
pollutant present than attach to it and can be detected by
the fluorescence,radioactivity or color change.