Chapter 1
Introduction and scope


A biosensor is a compact analytical device, often considered as a “lab-on-a-chip”, which facilitates the detection and quantification of a target analyte, at the point-of-care (POC). This confers several key advantages over laboratory-based means of analyte detection: biosensors are rapid, cost-effective and operate at the bedside or in the home without the need for specialist users or equipment. As such, biosensors can save lives and tackle medical problems sooner by providing a faster diagnosis. Biosensors prove particularly useful, in addition to their application in hospitals and GP surgeries, (a) in the developing world, where cheap disease detection without the need for specialist clinicians is lacking and, (b) in the developed world, for self-monitoring of diabetes, cholesterol levels etc.

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