In clinical practices, optical biosensors are becoming more prevalent in point-of-care testing and in-house medical laboratories. One primary reason for their increased adoption is optical biosensors are non-invasive, alleviating the pain and inconvenience for patients when drawing blood. In addition, before this technology, many analyses had to be performed using large equipment located in central laboratories, causing delays in diagnosis. Let’s take a look at the future of optical sensing at point-of-care and in medical laboratories.
Biosensors Are Used in a Wide Variety of Applications
Simply put, a biosensor is a self-contained analytical device combining a biological element with a physicochemical component to generate a measurable signal for further analysis. In recent years, biosensors have become more widely used in medical diagnostics and biotechnology, as well as in pharmaceuticals, food, beverage, environmental, and agricultural industries. This is due to their simplicity in operation, higher sensitivity, ability to perform multiplex analysis, and capability to be integrated with different functions by the same computer chip.
Biosensors are highly responsive, making them ideal for sensing real-time signals from the production of biomolecules. Blood glucose monitoring is one of the most popular applications of biosensors in recent years. Also, biosensors are used in clinical laboratories to detect lactate, peroxides, and cytokines, as well as the release of proteins or antibodies in different inflammatory diseases and tumors.
New Biosensor Technology Will Lead to Increased Adoption
Since the development of the first oxygen biosensor in 1962, there have been enormous strides in biosensor technology. Even so, the practical application of biosensors in the field of medicine is still in its infancy. Further growth will be driven by the creation of devices that are able to provide results at or near the patient efficiently.
In order to increase their adoption, these devices need further advancement regarding simplicity, sensitivity, multiplex analysis of multiple biomarkers, and integration of different functions by the same computer chip. This will allow non-laboratory personnel like nurses and respiratory therapists to perform testing directly at point-of-care. Additionally, in-house laboratories will gain the greater capability to perform more sophisticated testing that once had to outsourced to large industrial laboratories. This will result in more rapid turnaround times for test results, reduced costs, and higher patient satisfaction.
Fiberguide is Helping to Drive the Advancement of Biosensors
For biosensors to become more powerful and user-friendly, there must be continuous development in optical fiber technology. Fiberguide manufactures over 500 different specialty optical fibers packaged in a variety of assemblies and bundles for optical power delivery and optical sensing applications. Fiberguide has proved their commitment to reliable, long-term, strategic partnerships with OEM manufacturers, providing efficient, cost-effective, practical fiber optic solutions engineered to meet specific needs.
To learn more about these specialty fibers, visit https://www.fiberguide.com/product/optical-fibers/.
Author: Kevin Rauscher