Some people regard the 21st century as the century of life science, and some people call the 21st century the century of information science. Biosensors are an interdisciplinary subject developed between life sciences and information science.
The comprehensive development of biosensor research was developed rapidly in the 1980s and has been highly valued and widely used in the food industry, environmental monitoring, fermentation industry, and medicine.
Four application areas of biosensors
Biosensors are entering a period of comprehensive research and development, and there are more and more biosensors and systems that are miniaturized, integrated, intelligent, and practical.
The application of biosensors in food analysis includes the determination of food ingredients, food additives, harmful toxicants and food freshness.
Food ingredient analysis: In the food industry, glucose content is an important indicator of fruit maturity and shelf life. The developed enzyme electrode type biosensor can be used to analyze glucose in white wine, apple juice, jam and honey.
Analysis of food additives: Sulfite is commonly used as a bleaching agent and preservative in the food industry. A galvanic sulfur dioxide enzyme electrode made of sulfite oxidase as a sensitive material can be used to determine the sulfurous acid content in foods. In addition, biosensors have also been reported for the determination of pigments and emulsifiers.
2. Environmental monitoring
In recent years, environmental pollution has become increasingly serious. People are eager to have an instrument that can continuously, quickly and onlinely monitor pollutants. Biosensors meet people's requirements. At present, a considerable number of biosensors have been used in environmental monitoring.
Atmospheric environmental monitoring: Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is the main cause of acid rain acid mist formation, and the traditional detection method is very complicated. Marty et al. immobilized the subcellular lipids on the cellulose acetate membrane and made an amperometric biosensor with an oxygen electrode to detect the acid rain acid mist sample solution.
3. Fermentation industry
Among various biosensors, the microbial sensor has the characteristics of low cost, simple equipment, no restriction on the degree of turbidity of the fermentation liquid, and elimination of interference of interfering substances in the fermentation process. Therefore, microbial sensors are widely used as an effective measurement tool in the fermentation industry.
Microbial sensors can be used to measure raw materials and metabolites in the fermentation industry. In addition, it is also used for the determination of the number of microbial cells. The use of such an electrochemical microbial cell number sensor enables continuous and on-line measurement of cell concentration.
4. Medical field
Biosensors in the medical field are playing an increasingly important role. Biosensing technology not only provides a fast and simple new method for basic medical research and clinical diagnosis, but also has broad application prospects in military medicine because of its uniqueness, sensitivity and fast response.
In clinical medicine, enzyme electrode is one of the earliest developed and most widely used sensors. Microbial sensors can be made by using microorganisms with different biological properties in place of enzymes. In military medicine, timely and rapid detection of biotoxins is an effective measure against biological weapons. Biosensors have been used to monitor a variety of bacteria, viruses and their toxins.
Several characteristics of future biosensors
In recent years, with the development of biological science, information science and materials science, biosensor technology has developed rapidly. It is foreseeable that future biosensors will have the following characteristics.
Diversification of functions: Future biosensors will further involve various fields of health care, disease diagnosis, food testing, environmental monitoring, and fermentation. At present, one of the important contents in biosensor research is to study biosensors that can replace sensory organs such as biological vision, hearing and touch, ie, biomimetic sensors.
Miniaturization: With the advancement of micromachining technology and nanotechnology, biosensors will continue to be miniaturized. The emergence of various portable biosensors enables people to diagnose diseases at home, and it is possible to directly detect foods on the market.
Intelligentization and integration: The future biosensor must be closely integrated with the computer to automatically collect data, process data, provide results more scientifically and accurately, and achieve sampling, sampling, and results, and form an automated system for detection. At the same time, chip technology will increasingly enter the field of sensors to achieve integration and integration of detection systems.
Low cost, high sensitivity, high stability and long life: The continuous advancement of biosensor technology will inevitably require continuous reduction of product cost, sensitivity, stability and longevity. Improvements in these characteristics will also accelerate the process of biosensor fieldization and commercialization.
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