Application of bacteriophages in sensor development

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2016 Mar;408(7):1805-28. doi: 10.1007/s00216-015-9087-2. Epub 2015 Oct 15.


Bacteriophage-based bioassays are a promising alternative to traditional antibody-based immunoassays. Bacteriophages, shortened to phages, can be easily conjugated or genetically engineered. Phages are robust, ubiquitous in nature, and harmless to humans. Notably, phages do not usually require inoculation and killing of animals; and thus, the production of phages is simple and economical. In recent years, phage-based biosensors have been developed featuring excellent robustness, sensitivity, and selectivity in combination with the ease of integration into transduction devices. This review provides a critical overview of phage-based bioassays and biosensors developed in the last few years using different interrogation methods such as colorimetric, enzymatic, fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance, quartz crystal microbalance, magnetoelastic, Raman, or electrochemical techniques.

Keywords: Bacteriophage; Biorecognition element; Biosensing; Biosensor; Phage display technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteriophages / chemistry
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / metabolism*
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Surface Display Techniques / instrumentation
  • Cell Surface Display Techniques / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Humans
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Transducers