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

  • Steven J. Oldenburg, Ph.D. provides an overview of lateral flow diagnostic assays and discusses the use of ultra-bright reporter particles based on the unique optical properties of gold nanoshells that significantly increase the sensitivity of lateral flow immunoassays.
  • Professor Ebrahimi and Professor Robinson (Pennsylvania State University, USA) summarize recent advances in the synthesis of these 2D materials, resulting material properties, and related applications in biosensing of neurotransmitters, metabolites, proteins, nucleic acids, bacterial cells, and heavy metals.
  • Professor Yu Cheng and co-workers look at the recent advances of nanoparticle-based imaging contrast agents for in vivo stem cell tracking. They provide an in-depth look at popular in vivo imaging techniques, magnetic resonance imaging, fluorescence imaging, ultrasound imaging, and photoacoustic imaging.
  • 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.
  • Fluorescently labeled microparticles are useful as standards in flow cytometry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and with light scattering instruments..
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