Back to top
Post Image

Industrial Tech Today: Life Saving Biosensors

Welcome back to Industrial Tech Today, a thought-provoking and informative series brought to you by Artemis, a Boston based private equity firm focused exclusively on buying and building differentiated manufacturers of Industrial Tech. In this series, we explore the world of industrial technology and its impact and intersection with current events. We showcase the latest innovations, trends, and challenges that are shaping the future of industry and our world. From aerospace and defense to advanced materials and automation, we discuss a diverse range of topics that reflect the exciting advancements and opportunities emerging in this high tech and influential industry. Join us as we seek to provide insights, analysis, and explanation, while highlighting the cutting-edge Artemis portfolio companies and technologies that are driving progress and building a brighter future.



Biosensors are critical tools in the arena of medical diagnostics, playing a pivotal role in the early detection and monitoring of diseases. From routine health check-ups to critical care situations, these highly sophisticated devices must be capable of delivering accurate and reliable results in various settings. This blog post will discuss the different types of biosensors, their functions, and the importance of their dependable performance. We will examine the groundbreaking superhydrophobic biosensor technology and discuss the potential impact of biosensor innovation on disease detection. Additionally, we will explore how advances in industrial technology and life sciences are leading to the development of biosensors that are better equipped to handle complex biological data. Lastly, we will highlight the synergistic relationship between biosensors and industrial liquid dispensing platforms, emphasizing how this union, is enabling superior diagnostic capabilities.



Industrial technology innovation in biosensors is pivotal in saving lives affected by diseases that necessitate early detection. The ability of these devices to rapidly and accurately detect biomarkers of disease, sometimes even before symptoms manifest, can mean the difference between life and death. By providing the opportunity for early intervention and timely treatment, these advancements can greatly increase survival rates and improve the quality of life for many individuals.

For instance, consider cancer, a disease where early detection is crucial. When caught in the initial stages, many forms of cancer, including breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, can often be treated effectively. However, as the disease progresses, treatment becomes significantly more challenging and survival rates drop drastically. Biosensors can play a key role in early cancer detection by identifying tumor markers or changes in DNA that are indicative of cancer. For example, research is ongoing into biosensors that can detect circulating tumor DNA in blood samples, a method that could potentially identify cancers at a very early stage.

Heart disease is another condition where early detection can save lives. Heart attacks are usually the result of long-term coronary artery disease, and early warning signs can often go unnoticed until it's too late. Biosensors capable of continuously monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiac biomarkers could provide early warning signs of deteriorating heart health, allowing for preventive measures to be taken before a life-threatening event occurs. Moreover, in the case of chronic diseases like diabetes, where managing the disease's progression is key to preventing fatal complications, biosensors can offer real-time blood glucose monitoring, enabling patients to maintain better control of their condition. Thus, industrial technology innovation in biosensors is not only a tool for early disease detection but also a vital component of disease management and prevention, saving countless lives every year.

Untitled-6.png vF


While there are numerous different types of Biosensors for dozens of different applications, four of the most common and impactful are described below:


A. Enzyme-based Biosensors: 
These are the most commonly used type of biosensors. They use a biological enzyme to detect the presence of a chemical compound. The enzyme, due to its specific nature, will only react with the target compound (substrate). This reaction usually results in a change in color, pH, heat production, or another easily measurable trait, which can be detected and quantified by the biosensor. Examples include glucose meters used by diabetics, which use the enzyme glucose oxidase to react with glucose in a blood sample.

B. Immunosensors: 
Immunosensors are based on the principles of immunochemistry, specifically the specific binding of an antigen (the analyte) to its corresponding antibody. The sensor surface is typically modified with antibodies specific to the target antigen. When the antigen is present, it binds to the antibody, and this binding event can be detected by various methods, such as changes in electrical resistance, mass, or fluorescence. Immunosensors are widely used in medical diagnostics, for example, in the detection of cancer markers or infectious diseases like HIV.

C. DNA Biosensors
DNA biosensors, also known as genosensors, use a strand of DNA that is complementary to the target sequence. If the target DNA (or RNA) sequence is present in the sample, it will bind (hybridize) with the DNA probe on the sensor. This binding event can then be detected and quantified. DNA biosensors are particularly useful in genetic testing, monitoring gene expression, or detecting genetic diseases and pathogens.

D. Optical Biosensors
Optical biosensors operate based on the interaction of an analyte with an optical field, which modifies the properties of the light. These changes, including intensity, phase, polarization, wavelength, or spectral distribution, can be measured and related to the concentration of the analyte. There are several types of optical biosensors, including surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors, fiber-optic biosensors, and photonic crystal biosensors.



For those nerds out there (Artemis included), we wanted to share an exciting development in the Biosensor universe. The superhydrophobic biosensor introduced in this SciTechDaily article is a novel, cutting-edge device specifically designed to measure vapor from insensible perspiration—a type of sweat that evaporates before it's perceptible on the skin. Given the wealth of health-related information present in sweat, this biosensor has enormous potential in real-time health monitoring and early disease detection.

The design of this biosensor is quite unique and highly functional. It consists of a superabsorbent hydrogel composite placed on a porous substrate, which is then sandwiched between two superhydrophobic textile layers. The superhydrophobic properties, akin to the water-repelling nature of a lotus leaf, effectively prevent the sensor from being influenced by the larger external water droplets of sensible perspiration. Meanwhile, the permeation of sweat vapor is allowed through the porous substrate into the superabsorbent hydrogel composite.

This design allows the sensor to measure sweat rates continuously and accurately, even in different body locations. Coupled with a flexible wireless communication and power module, the superhydrophobic biosensor presents a major breakthrough in non-invasive, real-time health monitoring technology, paving the way for personalized healthcare and early disease detection.



Dispensing platforms, like those provided by former Artemis portfolio company, BioDot, play a crucial role in the future feasibility of biosensor technology. These platforms facilitate the precise deposition of reagents onto biosensor devices, a process that is integral to the manufacture and effectiveness of biosensors. As the field of biosensors continues to grow and diversify, the importance of reliable and flexible dispensing technologies cannot be overstated.

BioDot's dispensing platforms offer the ability to accurately and consistently deposit picoliter to microliter volumes of reagents. This precision is critical in creating effective biosensors. The deposited reagents are what interact with the target analyte, generating a measurable response. Therefore, the accuracy and consistency of the deposition process directly influence the sensitivity, reliability, and repeatability of the biosensor. With advancements in dispensing technology, it becomes possible to manufacture biosensors that can detect even the smallest concentrations of an analyte, improving early disease detection.

The adaptability of these dispensing platforms to handle a variety of materials and formats is key to the development of new and improved biosensors. As research continues to reveal new biomarkers for disease detection and novel bio-recognition elements, the need for dispensing platforms capable of handling a wide range of reagents and biosensor designs will only increase. By enabling the efficient production of diverse and complex biosensors, dispensing platforms like those from BioDot are paving the way for the future of biosensor technology and, in turn, the future of early disease detection and personalized medicine.

BioDot, is a manufacturer of high-throughput, ultra-low volume liquid dispensing technologies using lab automation to serve the global human demand for a healthier and safer future. For over 25 years, BioDot has leveraged a culture of R&D, production efficiency, and customer satisfaction to bring some of the world’s most precise microliter, nanoliter, and picoliter automated, non-contact, and high throughput liquid dispensing systems. BioDot’s Life Sciences, Research, and Academic customers come to BioDot for efficient solutions for diagnostic, cytogenetic, and biotechnology applications.

To look deeper into Biodot’s work and learn more about the exciting advancements they've made in the aerospace and defense industries, visit their portfolio company page on Artemis’ website to gain further insight into the applications of liquid dispensing and the unique benefits they offer.


Don't miss this opportunity to stay informed about the latest developments in industrial technologies and how they're shaping the future of more than just biosensor technologies. Like, comment, and follow to stay up to date and be a part of the growing conversation.