The field of biosensor development now encompasses several areas specifically geared toward the rapid and sensitive detection, identification, and quantification of target analytes. In contrast to the more mature research and development of nucleic acid and protein biosensors, the development of ‘glyco-biosensors’ for detecting carbohydrates and conjugates of carbohydrates (glycoconjugates) is at a relatively nascent stage. The application of glyco-biosensors aims to open novel analytical and diagnostic avenues, encompassing industrial bioprocesses, biomedical and clinical applications. This area of research has been greatly aided by advancement brought by interdisciplinary mergers of engineering, biology, chemistry and physical sciences and enabling the miniaturization of detection platforms. In this review, we briefly introduce the need for glyco-biosensors, discuss current analytical technologies, and examine advances in glyco-biosensor approaches aimed at the detection and/or quantification of glycoconjugates or carbohydrates derived from glycoconjugates since 2005.
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