What are Biosensors? Biosensor to Detect Kidney Disorders Developed by IITs (Download PDF)

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Researchers from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) - Bombay and Indore jointly developed a biosensor to detect kidney disorders in less than eight minutes measuring both the pH and urea concentration with a single drop of urine.

Image of Biosensor to Detect Kidney Disorders

Image of Biosensor to Detect Kidney Disorders

Image of Biosensor to Detect Kidney Disorders

What are Biosensors?

Image of Bioreceptors And Molecular Recognizers

Image of Bioreceptors And Molecular Recognizers

Image of Bioreceptors And Molecular Recognizers

  • Biosensor is an analytical device that converts a biological response into an electrical signal

  • They typically use enzymes as the biologically responsive material

  • Device is made up of a transducer and a biological element that may be an enzyme, an antibody, or a nucleic acid.

  • Bio-element interacts with analyte and biological response is converted into an electrical signal by the transducer

Drawbacks of Conventional Tests

  • Conventional kidney function tests estimate pH and urea in urine as most kidney disorders result in reduced pH and higher concentration of urea.

  • Current available require two tests for accuracy.

  • Accuracy problem arises due to contaminations components in urine such as calcium, chloride, ascorbic acid, sodium, and potassium.

New Biosensor Tests

  • Biosensor can detect both pH and urea contents in urine

  • This is a point-of-care test to determine kidneys abnormalities.

  • Made by encapsulating an enzyme urease and molecule FITC-dextran in alginate microspheres, which glows in fluorescence colour in response to chemical reaction with urea and changes in pH when urine is added.

  • Fluorescence reduces when the pH is acidic and increases when it is alkaline indicating values of pH and urea.

Significance of New Test

  • The new biosensor made using alginate is safe and non-toxic and can work in the ideal pH range of 4 - 8. Can detect even low concentrations of urea up to 50 millimolar with accuracy of more than 97%.

  • It is stable for up to a month in a refrigerator and is unaffected by other components in urine samples.

  • Due to these qualities, it has potential to serve as rapid and accurate point-of-care diagnostic test for kidney disorders.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 21, 2017

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