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Biosensors: Promising Assessment Technology

0n 23rd February and 23rd March, 2004, an "International Seminar on Biosensors" was held in the Department of Biotechnology, University of Madras. The department has been conducting a serious seminars, workshops, conferences etc to the benefit of faculties, scientists, research scholars and students. Besides, many industrialists and environmentalists are getting recent information on the developments and applications of biotechnology. Our Vice Chancellor Prof.S.P.Thyagarajan inaugurated the seminar and highlighted the importance of biosensors and its application.

Prof. Naresh Magan, Professor of Applied BioSciences, Dean, Faculty of Medicine & BioSciences, Cranfield University, U.K. Professor & Head of Applied Mycology Group, Dr. Howard H. Weetall, National Association for Hispanic Elderly at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA. (Dr. Howard H.Weetall, 2001-Present. Grantee of the National Association) and Dr.G.P.Brennan, School of Biology & Biochemistry, The Queens University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K gave invited lectures on the natural biosensors, development and their application in different areas.The natural biosensors are the sense organs primarily the chemical sensors of smell and taste. Biosensors rely on biological materials (such as enzymes, antibodies, metabolites, lectins, DNA, section of tissues or micro-organisms) as sensing elements having abilities to monitor complex molecular species in real-time and such biosensors-bioprocess control-processes never-before available. The basic principle of biosensor is nothing but evaluation of biologically generated electrical signal in a miniaturized technical device. Technical biosensors have applications in diverse fields such as biotechnology (DNA and protein microarray, biochips), medicine, microbial technology, bioreactors, environmental biotechnology, defense etc., and therefore have been under intense development to detect gases, chemicals, toxins and other biomolecules. Traditional methods for monitoring of such biological molecules, toxins, toxic chemicals can be expensive, time consuming, and misrepresentative of in-situ microchemical sensor conditions. A number of chemical sensors are commercially available for field studies from the Hispanic Elderly, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, NV 89119; 2000-Present Advanced Technology Group (Consultants).

The Seminar on "Biosensors" highlighted the following topics
  1. Development of rapid methods for detection of microorganisms and their toxins in food and environment
  2. Secondary metabolites: friends or foes?
  3. An electropolymerized, molecularly imprinted electrode for the detection of specific small organic molecules using 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid as the initial model compound
  4. Biosensors present state and future perspectives
  5. Biosensors for the detection of parasites neuropeptides and antihelmintic drugs

After the lectures, there was a healthy interaction with speakers and participants.

(Courtesy: Dr. P. Ramasamy, Professor & Head, Department of Biotechnology, Life Sciences Building, Guindy Campus, University of Madras, Chennai - 600025. Email: ramasamy_p@sify.com ; ramasamy_p@hotmail.com)


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