Biochips vs Biosensors: Difference and Comparison

With the development in the world of medical sciences along with technological advancements, significantly greater discoveries have aided the growth in both fields. The most prominent and useful discoveries have been that of biochips and biosensors.

This article is dedicated to an in-depth explanation of the same and the layered differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  1. Biochips are miniaturized devices that analyze biological samples, while biosensors detect specific biological molecules.
  2. Biochips can perform multiple simultaneous tests, while biosensors focus on a single target.
  3. Biosensors are used in various applications, including environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics, while biochips are primarily used in genomics and proteomics research.

Biochips vs Biosensors 

Biochips mainly of three kinds that are Nucleic acid chips, protein chips, and chip lab. Biosensors are mainly of six types that are electrochemical, thermometric, optical, whole cell, immune and piezoelectric. Biochips consist of an array of individual biosensors but not all biosensors are biochips.

Biochips vs Biosensors

Biochips are engineered in laboratories to host various biochemical reactions in the body and also to monitor their impact. Biochips tackle the changes in a single cell that can be used for digital screening or medical treatment.

The physical and chemical properties of biological cells and molecules in the body can be easily monitored through biochips.

Biosensors, on the other, are analytical devices that detect other chemical substances. They can be used to trace the quality of substances along with tracking if there is any contamination.

Biosensors receive an input signal and conclude an output signal.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBiochipsBiosensors
DefinitionA technically engineered device that performs multiple simultaneous biochemical reactions.An analytical detecting device that combines a chemical and biological component.
TypesBiochips are mainly of three kinds- Nucleic acid chip, protein chip, chip lab.Biosensors are mainly of six types- electrochemical, thermometric, optical, whole cell, immune and piezoelectric.
ApplicationsUsed for detecting glucose levels, blood pressure, used for monitoring pets in zoos and formulate a trusted medical record.Used in food industries to measure levels of acids and alcohols, clinical research and in agricultural associations to check for purity.
AnatomySince biochips are small electronic device, they have millions of sensory elements.Biosensors mainly consist of three parts- biological sensor, transducer, and detector.
FunctionalityWorks with identifying the biological changes and demarcations and then changing them into LCD form.Works with intermingling along with biological analytes and this signal is then transduced into a readable form.

What are Biochips? 

Biochips are a great advancement in the medical industry. They are capable of tackling bioterrorism and diseases that may be underlying that cannot be superficially detected.

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Biochips are capable of screening a large number of biochemical reactions upon the screen, based on which the recovery data and chart sheet of a patient can be put together.

Biochips make use of a digital, two-dimensional biological microarray. This is a tray-like structure that uses a flat surface that could either be active or passive.

An active tray consists of integrated micromechanical devices which are supposedly the heart of the entire functioning body. The active tray is responsible for transduction which is the process of converting a biosignal to a computer signal that can be easily decoded.

This whole setup of fine fabrics is called microarray fabrication. Microchips are extremely expensive to be manufactured due to how every single sensor is unique and capable of holding a new thread of information.

Most microarrays contain a cartesian, integrated grid of sensors that are extremely useful in mapping the information and co-ordinate the function of each sensor.


What are Biosensors? 

A biosensor is an analytical component that makes use of a physiochemical detector to combine a chemical and biological component. Biologically sensitive components such as cells, enzymes, antibodies, and nucleic acid react with engineered analytes under study.

Biosensors make use of connected devices that are used to interpret biological data in a user-friendly way. Biosensors consist of receptors that communicate with analytes and produce a conclusion that is then studied by the transducer.

The most intricate feature of a biosensor is its selectivity. This is based on the ability of the material to interact with an antigen and an antibody. Usually, antibodies act as receptors.

The process of bio-recognition takes place between the bioreceptor and transducer, and the signalization takes place between transducer and electronics, and the process of displaying the information occurs between electronics and the display interface.

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Main Differences Between Biochips and Biosensors

  1. Biosensing devices focus on biological receptors that give corresponding information to their analytes. Analytes include DNA, enzymes, and protein of living organisms. Biochips, on the other hand, make use of digital microfluidics that are important in biomedical fields.
  2. The biggest challenge in the making of a biosensor is the efficient recognition of a low signal-to-noise ratio that makes it easy to be converted into other signals. For a biochip, it is vital to have the microfluidic array be integrated into a group of cells that can act as functional units.
  3. The development of biochips started in the name of underlying sensing technology. The initial step was the manufacture of the very first glass pH electrode by Hughes in 1922. The development of biosensors started when Leland C. Clark invented the first biosensor in 1956 for oxygen detection.
  4. Through microchips, the patient’s health can be assessed, and the medical data can be graphed and analysed. Diagnosis and treatment can be bought about with the help of progression and monitoring treatment. Through biosensors, biologically active and sensitive elements can be engineered into a technology ecosystem.
  5. The working itinerary of a biochip involves identification, turning on, the transmission of identified code to the operator, and turning the code into the LCD form. The working itinerary of a biosensor involves adapting by a receptor and changing the signal into a readable form by a transducer.  

Last Updated : 27 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Biochips vs Biosensors: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of biochips and biosensors, and their differences, making it easier for anyone to understand these complicated concepts.

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