By: Danielle Laya Castro


  • short for 'biological sensor'
  • an analytical device used to detect an analyte

a) Transducer - acts as an interface, measuring the physical change that occurs with the reaction at the bioreceptor, then transforming that energy into a measurable electrical output

b) Biological Element (enzyme/nucleic acid/antibody) - reacts with an analyte (the substance being tested); its ability to react with the target compound is the basis for a biosensor

c) Detector - converts amplified and analyzed signals from the transducer into concentration units, which will then be transferred to a display/data storage device

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Prof. Leland C. Clark Jr. (1918-2005)

  • Father of biosensors
  • Used platinum electrodes to detect oxygen
  • Enzyme: glucose oxidase (GOD)
  • The higher the glucose content, the more oxygen is consumed; the lower the glucose content, the more hydrogen peroxide is produced.
  • Either an increase in hydrogen peroxide or a decrease in oxygen can be measured to give an indication of the glucose concentration.


  • Detects, records and transmits information regarding a physiological change/process
  • Determines the presence and concentration of a specific substance in any test solution
  • Measures a wide spectrum of analytes, including organic compounds, gases, ions and bacteria

Some Types of Biosensors


  • Used in the food industry to measure carbohydrates, alcohols and acids during quality control processes
  • Used to check fermentation during the production of beer, yoghurt and soft drinks
  • Detecting pathogens in fresh meat, poultry or fish
  • Glucose monitoring in diabetes patients
  • Routine analytical measurement of folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 and pantothenic acid as an alternative to microbiological assay

Examples of Trends/Studies

  • For water monitoring
  • Protein-based Biosensor Assemblies for Drug Screening and Pharmaceutical Kinetic Studies
  • Diagnosis of HPV (Human Papillomavirus)


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Mandal, A. (2014, May 2). Biosensor Applications. Retrieved from

Pujari, S. (n.d.). Biosensors: Types and General Features of Biosensors. Retrieved from

Robertson, S. (2014, October 7). Retrieved from

Shukla, P. (2014, April 9). Retrieved from