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What are Biomedical Diagnostics?



Biomedical diagnostics refers to studying and using certain techniques, procedures or devices to provide information on diagnosis, screening, detection, and monitoring of certain diseases. Technological advancements increased expectations for medicine in terms of identifying new biomarkers to detect and assess medical conditions. Advancement of biomedical sciences enables researchers to develop diagnostic devices which are safe to use and cheaper than the conventional diagnostic kits as well.


Examples of biomedical diagnostics

1- Biosensors in cancer

Biosensors are one of the ubiquitous biomedical diagnostics (1). “Biosensors are devices that are designed to detect a specific biological analyte by essentially converting a biological entity (i.e., protein, DNA, RNA) into an electrical signal that can be detected and analyzed” (2). Biosensors are made up of three parts: a signal transducer, a recognition element, and a signal processor that passes on the results (2). Biosensors has vast potential in cancer detection. Designs of biosensors differ according to the biomarkers of each type of cancer (3). There are some common biomarkers utilized for cancer detection as follows:

· Prostate: prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

· Liver: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)

· Breast: estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (4).

· Ovarian: Cancer antigen 125 (CA125).


2- Biomedical assessments for oral diseases

“Saliva is a highly versatile biological fluid that is easy to gather in a non-invasive manner—and the results of its analysis complement clinical and histopathological findings in the diagnosis of multiple diseases” (5). With advances in biomedical diagnostics, measurement of drugs, hormones, antibodies became accessible (6). There are some common biomarkers utilized for detecting different oral diseases as follows: Cortisol, Nitric Oxide, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP) (5).


3- Biomedical imaging technologies for cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Non-invasive biomedical imaging technologies for examining the physiology, function, performance, and structure of heart have increased in diversity and number over the past several years (7). “Better assessments of cardiovascular disease, hemodynamics, and biomarkers have aided the stratification of patient risk and therapy” (7). Advances in biomedical diagnostics will help image the electrical potential at the surface of the heart, engineer cardiac tissue, and understand how molecules control the heartbeat.


Why is biomedical diagnostics effective?

Well, developing new tools that allow swift diagnosis of diseases such as cancers and Alzheimer’s disease at early stages are on an upward trajectory. There are high demands for new highly innovative analytical techniques, devices, and procedures in the field of medical diagnosis that possess high specificity and sensitivity in detecting diseases (8)



References:

1. Bhalla N, Jolly P, Formisano N, Estrela P. Introduction to biosensors. Estrela P, editor. Essays Biochem. 2016 Jun 30;60(1):1–8.


2. Mousa S. Biosensors: the new wave in cancer diagnosis. Nanotechnol Sci Appl. 2010 Dec;1.


3. Hasan MR, Ahommed MS, Daizy M, Bacchu MS, Ali MR, Al-Mamun MR, et al. Recent development in electrochemical biosensors for cancer biomarkers detection. Biosens Bioelectron X. 2021 Sep;8:100075.


4. Gamble P, Jaroensri R, Wang H, Tan F, Moran M, Brown T, et al. Determining breast cancer biomarker status and associated morphological features using deep learning. Commun Med. 2021 Jul 14;1(1):14.


5. Melguizo-Rodríguez L, Costela-Ruiz VJ, Manzano-Moreno FJ, Ruiz C, Illescas-Montes R. Salivary Biomarkers and Their Application in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of the Most Common Oral Pathologies. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jul 21;21(14):5173.


6. Tabak LA. A Revolution in Biomedical Assessment: The Development of Salivary Diagnostics. J Dent Educ. 2001 Dec;65(12):1335–9.


7. Garcia J. Biomedical Imaging Technologies for Cardiovascular Disease. Appl Sci. 2023 Feb 9;13(4):2209.


8. Jason Cheng Q. Grand Challenges and Perspectives in Biomedical Analysis and Diagnostics. 2021 Jun 2; Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frans.2021.700386/full


 

Contributors:

Author: Madonna A. Fekry

Editor: Lauryn Agron

Health scientist: Madonna A. Fekry


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