Biomod/2013/Harvard/introduction

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Proteins often function as sensors and monitors in nature, and are therefore often used as platforms for engineered biosensors. Many proteins show drastic alterations in conformation or function in response to the presence of another molecule, in effect acting as a sensor. These natural responses can be harnesses to create a man-made sensor that is biologically emulative. Standard protein mechanics, such as a change in formation upon ligand binding, can be modified to occur in response to novel events or conditions.
Proteins often function as sensors and monitors in nature, and are therefore often used as platforms for engineered biosensors. Many proteins show drastic alterations in conformation or function in response to the presence of another molecule, in effect acting as a sensor. These natural responses can be harnesses to create a man-made sensor that is biologically emulative. Standard protein mechanics, such as a change in formation upon ligand binding, can be modified to occur in response to novel events or conditions.
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Revision as of 12:36, 11 October 2013

Introduction

easy applications

The importance of being able to detect of bioagents pervades our daily lives as it plays an essential role in biotechnology, medicine, agriculture, and even in military. For example, glucose monitoring for diabetes, fighting bioterrorism, screening for food toxins, and diagnosing a disease all require an efficient method of detecting bioagents.



Biosensors and Allosteric Switches

One approach for detecting bioagents is the use of biosensors. Biosensors are biologically derived chemical sensing device that recognizes a presence of a certain molecule and outputs a measurable signal in response. It is composed of two parts: the bio-element that recognizes a specific analyte, or bioagent, and the transducer that converts the recognition into a readily detectable output signal.

Fig. 1: A Biosensor Enzyme (Adapted from   Mohanty et al, 2006)
Fig. 1: A Biosensor Enzyme (Adapted from Mohanty et al, 2006)
Proteins often function as sensors and monitors in nature, and are therefore often used as platforms for engineered biosensors. Many proteins show drastic alterations in conformation or function in response to the presence of another molecule, in effect acting as a sensor. These natural responses can be harnesses to create a man-made sensor that is biologically emulative. Standard protein mechanics, such as a change in formation upon ligand binding, can be modified to occur in response to novel events or conditions.
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