alexa Biosensors: From Biomolecular Interaction Analysis to Cell Phenotypic Screening and From Bench to Bedside | OMICS International
ISSN: 2153-0777
Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics

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Biosensors: From Biomolecular Interaction Analysis to Cell Phenotypic Screening and From Bench to Bedside

Ye Fang*
Biochemical Technologies, Science and Technology Division, Corning Inc., Corning, NY 14831, USA
Corresponding Author : Ye Fang
Biochemical Technologies
Science and Technology Division
Corning Inc., Sullivan Park
SP-FR-01, Corning, NY 14831, USA
Tel: +1 607 9747203
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 02, 2012; Accepted June 04, 2012; Published June 07, 2012
Citation: Fang Y (2012) Biosensors: From Biomolecular Interaction Analysis to Cell Phenotypic Screening and From Bench to Bedside. J Biochips Tiss Chips 2:e113. doi:10.4172/2153-0777.1000e113
Copyright: © 2012 Fang Y. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Biosensors are analytical devices that employ a physicochemical transducer to convert a biomolecular interaction event or a stimulusinduced cellular response into a quantifiable signal. With the expansion in transduction strategy and advances in sensor design and microfabrication has come widespread use of biosensors in basic research, drug discovery and development, medical diagnostics, and food and environmental safety assessment.
Determining the biophysical aspects of biomolecular interactions is essential to understand all biological processes. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR), an optical sensor sensitive to changes in the refractive index occurring in the field of its surface bound electromagnetic wave, has become a central and routine laboratory tool for characterizing and quantifying biomolecular interactions, particularly kinetics [1]. However, SPR suffers two limitations: low throughput and prerequisite of protein immobilization. The increasingly recognized importance of the binding kinetics of drugs for their in vivo efficacy and safety profiles has created strong demand for high throughput kinetics early in the drug discovery process [2-4]. Microtiter plate-based and microfluidics- equipped biosensors make it possible for high throughput kinetics screen [5]. Given that achieving robust immobilization of functional proteins is the bottleneck in bioaffinity sensing, nanophotonics [6,7] and solution-based biosensors [8,9] promise to revolutionize label-free characterization of biomolecular interactions.
The ability to examine living cells, the functional basic unit of life, is crucial to both cell biology research and drug discovery. An impedance- based electrical biosensor was long recognized to be a cell morphological sensor [10]. Since then, both electrical and optical biosensors have been developed and used to non-invasively monitor different cellular responses ranging from cell adhesion to cell barrier functions, viral infection, cell migration, proliferation, death, and differentiation. Recently with the advances in biosensor instrumentation and cellbased assay design have come to the realization that label-free biosensors can translate receptor-ligand interactions into dynamic signatures in native cells including primary cells and stem cells; and the biosensor signatures represent cell phenotypic and systems cell biology readouts of receptor signaling [11,12]. These findings have dramatically expanded the applications of label-free biosensors in cell biology, particularly for pathway delineation of receptor signaling [13] and fine classification of drug pharmacology [14,15]. The wide adoption of label-free cellular assays requires further elucidating the cellular mechanisms of biosensor signatures [16], and advancements in methodology to relate biosensor signals to the molecular mechanisms of action of different drugs [17,18]. The ability to track cell signaling in single cells is important in stem cell differentiation and cell migration [19]. Furthermore, different transduction strategies are also desired to measure distinct biological functions of cells such as biomechanics [20] and the production and/or organization of specific molecules in cells [13,21].
People, particularly the aging population, demands higher quality healthcare today. Essential to this is the development of effective pointof- care diagnostic tools. Biosensors have played and will continue to play an important role in medical diagnosis. For instance, intensive management of blood glucose levels is crucial to minimize the onset of the damage caused by diabetes. Regularly monitoring blood glucose levels using glucose sensor, in conjunction with insulin administration, is the routine procedure for diabetic patients [22]. Exhaled nitric oxide has been recognized to be a biomarker of lung disease – its levels significantly increase in individuals with asthma before diagnosis, decrease with inhaled corticosteroid administration, and correlate with the number of eosinophils in induced sputum [23]. Exhaled breath condensate, electronic nose and nitric oxide detection offer non-invasive means to directly monitor airway inflammation [24]. Detecting other molecules in breath may open opportunities to develop next point-ofcare tests.
 
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