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Biosensor research expands globally to reach a variety of key industries

SAN ANTONIO--October 31, 2002-- Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the anthrax mailings in their wake, military, law enforcement, and security agencies have focused on using biosensors to detect biological and chemical agents.

Universities conduct the majority of biosensor research, most often with government support, which has risen since 9/11. Private companies provide the third pillar in the biosensor alliance, commercializing and marketing these devices that measure biological phenomena.

Biosensors are made on the molecular scale, making nanotechnology a key ingredient in creating and adapting them. The international scope of biosensing includes systems in development and commercially available technologies from Europe, Israel, North America and the Pacific Rim.

"Researchers continue to exploit the potential of biosensors in speeding new drug trials, monitoring and regulating time released medication, and detecting toxic agents and explosives that are the deadliest weapons in terrorism's and rogue states' arsenals," says Technical Insights Analyst Michael Valenti.

Because biosensors are costly devices, many companies and universities, and their researchers are seeking ways to make them more economical. For example, molecular imprinted polymers may soon be used as the recognition element within biosensors.

"These polymers provide the high physical and chemical stability needed to work with immobilized biomaterials such as enzymes and antibodies in a biosensing role," says Valenti. "Further, when the target molecule has no biomaterial available as the recognition component, the imprinted polymer provides an excellent, and often the only, solution."

Other biosensor developers are using a biomimic technique to fashion polymers. This involves using modular polymer scaffolds that are programmed to attract building block molecules. Chemical interactions cause these components to self-assemble into
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Contact: Julia Rowell
jrowell@frost.com
210-247-3870
Technical Insights
31-Oct-2002


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