Biosensor is a device that measures biological or chemical reactions by generating signals proportional to the concentration of an analyte in the reaction. Biosensors are employed in applications such as disease monitoring, drug discovery, and detection of pollutants, disease-causing microorganisms and markers that are indicators of a disease in bodily fluids (blood, urine, saliva, sweat).
What are some of the things that are involved in using biosensors?
Analyte: A relevant substance that needs to be detected. For example, in a biosensor designed to detect glucose, glucose is an "analyte".
Bioreceptor: A molecule that specifically recognizes an analyte is called a bioreceptor. Enzymes, cells, aptamers, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and antibodies are some examples of bioreceptors. The process by which a bioreceptor generates a signal (in the form of light, heat, pH, charge or mass change, etc.) when it interacts with an analyte is called biorecognition.
What are the main components of a biosensor?
Transducer：A transducer is an element that converts one form of energy into another form. In a biosensor, the role of the transducer is to convert a biometric event into a measurable signal. This process of energy conversion is called signaling. Most transducers produce an optical or electrical signal, usually proportional to the amount of analyte-bioreceptor interaction.
Electronics：This is the part of the biosensor that processes the converted signal and prepares it for display. It consists of complex electronic circuits that perform signal conditioning such as amplification and conversion of the signal from analog to digital form. The processed signal is then quantified by the biosensor's display unit.
Display：The display unit consists of a user-interpretation system, such as the LCD of the computer or a direct printer, that generates user-understandable numbers or curves. This part usually consists of a combination of hardware and software to generate the biosensor results in a user-friendly manner. The output signal on the display can be numerical, graphical, tabular or graphic, depending on the requirements of the end user.