Wilson, George S. Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
Last reviewed:February 2021
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- Catalytic biosensors
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An integrated device consisting of a biological recognition element and a transducer capable of detecting the biological reaction and converting it into a signal that can be processed. Ideally, the sensor should be self-contained, so that it is not necessary to add reagents to the sample matrix to obtain the desired response. There are a number of analytes (the target substances to be detected) that are measured in biological media, such as pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), partial pressure of oxygen (pO2), and the ionic concentrations of sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and glucose (see illustration). However, these sensors do not use biological recognition elements, and are considered chemical sensors. Normally, the biological recognition element is a protein or protein complex that is able to recognize a particular analyte in the presence of many other components in a complex biological matrix. Recently this definition has been expanded to include oligonucleotides. The recognition process involves a chemical or biological reaction, and the transducer must be capable of detecting not only the reaction, but also its extent. An ideal sensor should yield a selective, rapid, and reliable response to the analyte, and the signal generated by the sensor should be proportional to the analyte concentration.
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