Merck

Biosensors & Bioimaging

Flexible and thin wearable biosensor skin patches in round and plaster shapes for consumer and medical applications.

Biosensing and bioimaging facilitate the investigation of biological and pathological processes in living systems at the molecular level. A biosensor is a device used to detect the presence or concentration of a biological analyte, biological structure, or microorganism. Biosensors are found in bioelectronics, food and environmental monitoring, and biomedical applications to detect pathogens, food toxins, and biomarkers of diseases.

Biosensors have three main components: a recognition component that identifies the analyte and produces a signal, a signal transducer, and a reader to measure and quantify the signal received. Bioreceptors, such as antibodies, nucleotides, enzymes, or proteins, act as recognition molecules that bind or interact with a targeted analyte or biomarker. Signal transducers can function via many different physicochemical properties including electrical, electrochemical, optical, or magnetic outputs.

Bioimaging is an optical form of biosensing used to create non-invasive, visual representations of biological processes in cells, tissues, and anatomy for more accurate diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Diagnostic imaging modalities for in vivo applications include X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fMRI, and positron emission tomography (PET). In vitro applications often include super-resolution, two-photon fluorescence excitation microscopy, fluorescence recovery/redistribution after photobleaching (FRAP), and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) technologies.

For more information read our Material Matters™ issue dedicated to bioassays and bioimaging.​


Related Technical Articles

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  • Developed in the last several years, fluorescence quenching microscopy (FQM) has enabled rapid, inexpensive, and high-fidelity visualization of two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene-based sheets and MoS2.
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  • Dextran is a polymer of anhydroglucose. It is composed of approximately 95% alpha-D-(1-6) linkages. The remaining a(1-3) linkages account for the branching of dextran. Conflicting data on the branch lengths implies that the average branch length is less than three glucose units. However, other methods indicate branches of greater than 50 glucose units exist.
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