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Biosens Bioelectron. 2004 Apr 15;19(9):953-62.

The use of yeast and moulds as sensing elements in biosensors.

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  • School of Applied Science, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 540, Christchurch, New Zealand. baroniank@cpit.ac.nz


Whole cell biosensors are able to provide information that sensors based on single and multiple types of molecules are unable to do. For example, broad-spectrum catabolite analysis, cell toxicity and genotoxicity are best detected in the context of a functioning cell. Most whole cell sensors have used bacterial cells as the sensing element. Fungal cells, however, can provide all of the advantages bacterial cells offer but in addition they can provide information that is more relevant to other eukaryote organisms. These cells are easy to cultivate, manipulate for sensor configurations and are amenable to a wide range of transducer methodologies. An overview of the use of yeast and filamentous fungi as the sensing element of some biosensors is presented here.

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