Emerging Role of Biosensors in Healthcare: Advancing Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring

In the era of technological advancements in biomedical field, biosensors are playing a crucial role in revolutionizing healthcare by enabling continuous monitoring of various physiological parameters. From merely being laboratory research tools, biosensors have now matured enough to become commercially viable point-of-care diagnostic devices. Advancements in material science, microfabrication, signal transduction mechanisms have significantly improved the sensitivity, specificity and reliability of these devices. This article aims to provide an overview of biosensors along with highlighting the emerging technologies and their applications in healthcare.

What are Biosensors?

A biosensor is an analytical device that combines a biological component with a physicochemical transducer. The biological recognition elements like antibodies, enzymes, tissues or whole cells provide the specificity to detect the target analyte. Once this interaction occurs, the transducer converts it into an electrical signal that can be displayed in the form of data on a screen. Depends on the type of physical or chemical phenomenon used for signal transduction, biosensors can be classified as electrochemical, optical, piezoelectric or thermal biosensors.

Applications in Disease Diagnosis

According to Coherent Market Insights, the biosensors market shows growing applications of biosensors in disease diagnosis

With the ability to detect biomarkers of various infectious and non-communicable diseases, biosensors have enormous potential in point-of-care diagnosis. Some major applications areas are:

– Blood Glucose Monitoring: Enzyme based glucose biosensors used in home blood glucose monitoring systems have revolutionized diabetes management. Continuous glucose monitoring devices are also emerging.

– Infectious Disease Testing: Rapid biosensors help perform bedside tests for detection of infectious agents like HIV, Hepatitis, tuberculosis directly from patient samples within minutes.

– Cardiac Marker Testing: Cardiac troponin and CRP measuring biosensors are used for rapid diagnosis of myocardial infarction at emergency sites.

Cancer Biomarker Detection: Developing biosensors for sensitive and reliable detection of protein, DNA and cell-based cancer biomarkers can facilitate early stage cancer screening and monitoring.

– Pregnancy and Fertility Testing: Lateral flow immunoassays work as simple, low-cost point-of-care tests for detecting pregnancy, ovulation cycles as well as fertility related hormones.

Advancing Technologies and Applications

The rapidly evolving biosensing technologies have potential to transform healthcare landscapes in the following ways:

Multianalyte Detection

Advanced microfabrication is enabling development of lab-on-chip biosensor platforms for simultaneous detection of multiple biomarkers on single platform. This facilitates disease subtyping and staging through disease specific biomarker panels.

Continuous Monitoring Devices

Novel wearable and minimally invasive biosensors are being designed for continuous, real-time monitoring of physiological parameters outside laboratory settings. Implantable glucose sensors, enzymatic wound dressings, sweat based biosensors are some examples.

Personalized Medicine

Combining biosensors with microfluidics, AI and cloud computing can help develop personalized diagnostic and treatment monitoring systems. For instance, using patient-specific electronic skin patches for continuously monitoring drug effects.

Telehealth Applications

With wireless data transmission capabilities, biosensors are enabling remote, decentralized healthcare delivery models. This is significantly improving access to diagnostics and chronic disease management in resource limited settings through telehealth approaches.

Market Outlook

Development of advanced biosensing technologies hold tremendous potential to transform global healthcare industry. According to market research report published by Coherent Market Insights, the global biosensors market was valued at US$ 24.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of around 9.3% during the forecast period (2021 – 2028). Rapid miniaturization, cost reduction along with capability for multiplexed detection are some key factors expected to drive widespread adoption of these devices. North America currently dominates the global market however Asia Pacific region is emerging as highly lucrative market expected to witness fastest growth. For more details on emerging opportunities, ongoing research and regional market analysis, refer to the research report published by Coherent Market Insights.