What's the Problem?
The majority of diagnostic tests are currently carried out, after consultation with a clinician, by technical professionals in centralized laboratories using very high-cost equipment. But this is changing, as the health system is moving towards telemedicine and mobile health, in which Lab-on-a-Chip technologies, wearables and point of care (PoC) devices allow carrying out the tests closer to, and even on, the patient. These advances enable health professionals early access to results, making better decisions regarding possible treatments and moving the focus towards prevention.
In essence, all these tests depend on the capacity of a molecule (receptor or transducer) to bind specifically to a target of interest (target) such as indicators of pathologies, viruses, or even environmental pollution. Some examples are monoclonal antibodies in a pregnancy test or an enzyme in a glucometer.
Electrochemical biosensors are the quintessential devices that can bring diagnosis closer to the patient and provide faster responses in hospitals, at doctors' offices, during an emergency transfer, at home or even in remote rural areas. But finding new receptors is very costly, takes years and is the current restraint to the growth of the biosensor market.