Biosensors in Clinical Chemistry
Devices that employ biological/ biochemical reactions for detecting target analytes are Biosensors. The device consists of a transducer and a biocatalyst. A cell, tissue, enzyme or even an oligonucleotide acts as the biocatalyst. The transducers are mainly amperometric, potentiometric or optical. The classification of biosensors is based on the intimacy between the biocatalyst and the transducer, and the nature of the recognition event. The censor technologies may be responsible for up to 25% of chemistry determinations performed in clinical settings. The last 5 years have seen this technology mature to the extent that a number of important analytes such as cardiac markers, drugs and infectious agents are now determined using commercially available biosensors. In the future we are likely to see biosensors that utilise the technology and clinical information emerging from the human genome project so called Gene-Chips or arrays. Despite the undoubted impact that Genomics will have on disease diagnosis and management it is possible that the most important biosensor technology will continue to be glucose measurements for some considerable time in the future. The incidence of diabetes is predicted to increase significantly and the importance of regular glucose measurements has been well established.