Introduction

Since biosensors are real-time (or near real-time) measuring and detection devices, the market for them is bound to grow in the future. This is in spite of the numerous difficulties that need to be overcome to make them more efficient and cost-effective. Kilmetz and Bridge (1997) emphasize that although the biosensor market is growing, it remains immature and imbalanced. This market will be significantly influenced by global demand in the areas of environmental, health, and safety laws. The primary impetus for the development of biosensors still is in the health field. The medical market is large, and of the clinical diagnostic applications in use today, home glucose testing for diabetics claims close to 90% of the market. According to the Cranfield University Report (1997), other applications include other medical (2%), environmental (2%), and other miscellaneous applications (2%). This same report emphasizes that biosensors offer the sensitivity, specificity, and, more particularly, the convenience required by the average person. This convenience should greatly assist in expanding the market for biosensors, especially if biosensors can be developed for a wide range of applications in the health and environmental fields.

A particular advantage of real-time measurements is that the results obtained may be acted upon immediately. Furthermore, biosensors have the potential to provide precise, real-time results in a user-friendly format— essential ingredients for clinical diagnostics. Thus, it is not surprising that the major use of biosensors is in the home testing market. However, the use of

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