The world of biosensors is wide and develops rapidly. Peter Adrian, Principal Industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, will give an overview of the latest developments in biosensor technology at the MicroNanoConference on the 11th of December.
Adrian takes GMR (giant magnetoresistance) nanobiosensors, developed at Standord University, as an example of advanced technology: “These sensors, made by MagArray, are easy to operate and can perform a one-stop immunoassay. At present, the company is providing lab services to physicians, focusing on lung detection. The company’s REVEAL lung characterization blood test non-invasively measures unique biomarkers associated with lung cancer. The test indicates the risk of nodule malignancy in patients with pulmonary nodules in the range of 6 mm-3 cm.”
The GMR nanobiosensor-technology can be used in many cases. Adrian mentions detecting allergies, cardiovascular disease, allergies, bacterial and viral infections, inflammatory disease, diabetes, and drug detection.
Another technology, Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), allows further miniaturization of biosensors. Due to MEMS-sensors it’s now possible to obtain previously inaccessible signals from inside the patient. The bioMEMS (MEMS biosensors) variant has a tiny footprint, which minimizes power consumption. The company Tarabios from Turkey, a spin-off from Koc University, is developing point-of-need blood diagnostic systems with bioMENS-sensors.
Adrian mentions more interesting biosensor technology, like ingestible biosensors: “These sensors are able to reside in the body for a long period of time and have the promise for transforming drug delivery and clinical treatment and diagnosis. The devices can also enable improved patient adherence to ingestion of medication by transmitting signals that provide unobtrusive evidence of medication injection.” Researchers at the Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) have designed ingestible sensors. They contain genetically engineered bacteria that can be used to diagnose bleeding in the stomach or other gastrointestinal issues.
Challenges and opportunities
With research ongoing, there are different challenges and opportunities in developing new types of biosensors. Adrian: “Scientists can benefit from advancements in miniaturization, sensitivity and selectivity. To exploit the biosensors market, developers and providers should also focus on improving the biosensor’s, response time and resistance to fouling or contamination.”
According to Adrian, noninvasive monitoring of glucose is challenging, due to such factors as the measurement of glucose is susceptible to noise, caused by interferences from water, cells and circulating metabolites. Environmental monitoring is also tough, as there can be a large number of substances of interest and a wide range of concentrations.
When looking into the crystal ball, Adrian sees a bright future for biosensor applications in different focus areas: “The growth drivers for biosensors include point-of-care diagnostics, including wearable point of care biosensors for remote health monitoring, as well as personal health and wellness. Other applications driving biosensor growth include home diagnostics, water and air quality monitoring, agriculture and security.”
‘Vital Opportunities for Biosensors’, a presentation by Peter Adrian, will be held at 10:15 on Tuesday December 11th 2018 in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This will be the 13th edition of the MicroNanoConference.