2019 Volume 35 Issue 8 Pages 839-847
This review summarizes the development of whole-cell biosensors with a special focus on device development and cell immobilization. Integration of biosensor functions in a device will pave the way for field applications in remote areas and resource-limited settings. Firstly, an introduction to the field of whole-cell biosensors is provided, followed by examples of genetic engineering of cells in order to fulfill sensor functions. A framework of requirements to enable future field applications of biosensors is elaborated. A special focus is on different cell immobilization techniques ranging from polymers, to microfluidic devices, immobilization on paper and combinations of these methods. Looking at globally successfully implemented point of care devices such as a home pregnancy test or a blood glucose meter, we conclude the review with thoughts on long-term stability, portability, ease of use and user safety design guidelines for whole-cell biosensor devices.