Optical EngineeringRole of biomolecular logic systems in biosensors and bioactuators
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An overview of recent advances in biosensors and bioactuators based on biocomputing systems is presented. Biosensors digitally process multiple biochemical signals through Boolean logic networks of coupled biomolecular reactions and produce an output in the form of a YES/NO response. Compared to traditional single-analyte sensing devices, the biocomputing approach enables high-fidelity multianalyte biosensing, which is particularly beneficial for biomedical applications. Multisignal digital biosensors thus promise advances in rapid diagnosis and treatment of diseases by processing complex patterns of physiological biomarkers. Specifically, they can provide timely detection and alert medical personnel of medical emergencies together with immediate therapeutic intervention. Application of the biocomputing concept has been successfully demonstrated for systems performing logic analysis of biomarkers corresponding to different injuries, particularly as exemplified for liver injury. Wide-ranging applications of multianalyte digital biosensors in medicine, environmental monitoring, and homeland security are anticipated. “Smart” bioactuators, for signal-triggered drug release, for example, were designed by interfacing switchable electrodes with biocomputing systems. Integration of biosensing and bioactuating systems with biomolecular information processing systems advances the potential for further scientific innovations and various practical applications.