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Biosensors: Role in Biotechnology

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Others | Submitted: 2010-06-01 06:17:45
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Article Summary: "Biosensors are the devices which are used to measure or analyze the biological data in the presence of electric current. They are used in many fields of biotechnology like medicine, agriculture and mainly in environment..."


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Biosensor is a device which is used to analyze, detect and record the biological data using the electric current. This device is mainly used to determine the concentration of the chemical and other biological substances. Enzymes are particularly used in this device but other cellular metabolisms, and antibody and antigen reaction also take place in the biosensors.

Following are some features of good biosensors.
1) During the analysis, the biocatalyst must be highly definite and the temperature and other conditions should be normal. It should show good results over a large number of assays.
2) It should be taken care during the reaction that physical constraints should not effect the reaction like pH, stirring and other such constraints.
3) During the reaction, if the response of the reaction is accurate, precise and can be reproduced easily, that reaction is considered best and useful.
4) Antigenic effects or toxins should not be able to make any changes in the reaction during the clinical situations. If the probe is tiny, it is considered suitable for the reaction.
5) If the biosensors are used during the process of fermentation then they should be able to sterilize. As it is known that fermentation process needs severe heat for example autoclave is used for heating. Then it is impossible for biosensors to bear this much heat, and the fermentation process through biosensors can also be effected.
6) It is in the favor of biosensors if they have low price and small and they can be used by the persons who are not well trained.

Role of Biosensors in Biotechnology:-
Biosensors are used in various fields of biotechnology such as medicine, agriculture and environment and in research of biotechnology mainly. In these fields, when the stages of certain analytes are estimated or monitored, biosensors are used for these purposes. There is no need of any living organisms or molecules during the routine physical analysis of the biological data. For the purpose of physical analysis using biosensors, cells or small molecules are used. In biotechnology, biosensors are the analytical devices which make use of the biological materials like nucleic acid, hormone or enzyme. These compounds interact with the analyte, which is a biological compound, and they can be measured by means of the electrical, chemical or physical signals. During the reaction in a biosensor, a biological component such as a cell or enzyme is needed. The technique of biosensors can be used in the field of medicine, agriculture but these devices are mostly used in the environmental processes to give benefit to the environment. For example a biosensor is used to break down the glucose level in the blood of an individual. It uses an enzyme called glucose oxidase. During the process, the glucose is oxidized by glucose oxidase and then two electrons of the enzyme are used which reduce the FAD which is a component of the enzyme to FADH2. The electrodes are used which oxidize FADH2 in several stages. The response which is produced during the whole process depicts the concentration of glucose in blood. Two things are used in the reaction, the electrode and enzyme. One performs as transducer and the other one as a biologically active component. In the environmental biotechnology, biosensors are used to detect the pesticides and the harmful substances which contaminate the water. Biosensors are also used to detect the pathogens in the body. During the process of bioremediation, biosensors are used to determine toxic substances.

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