Biosensors for point-of-care testing and personalized monitoring of gastrointestinal microbiota

Frontiers in Microbiology  | 05 May 2023|

Lightson Ngashangva, Santanu Chattopadhyay


The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota is essential in maintaining human health. Alteration of the GI microbiota or gut microbiota (GM) from homeostasis (i.e., dysbiosis) is associated with several communicable and non-communicable diseases. Thus, it is crucial to constantly monitor the GM composition and host–microbe interactions in the GI tract since they could provide vital health information and indicate possible predispositions to various diseases. Pathogens in the GI tract must be detected early to prevent dysbiosis and related diseases. Similarly, the consumed beneficial microbial strains (i.e., probiotics) also require real-time monitoring to quantify the actual number of their colony-forming units within the GI tract. Unfortunately, due to the inherent limitations associated with the conventional methods, routine monitoring of one’s GM health is not attainable till date. In this context, miniaturized diagnostic devices such as biosensors could provide alternative and rapid detection methods by offering robust, affordable, portable, convenient, and reliable technology. Though biosensors for GM are still at a relatively preliminary stage, they can potentially transform clinical diagnosis in the near future. In this mini-review, we have discussed the significance and recent advancements of biosensors in monitoring GM. Finally, the progresses on future biosensing techniques such as lab-on-chip, smart materials, ingestible capsules, wearable devices, and fusion of machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) have also been highlighted.


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