Machine learning enhances the performance of bioreceptor-free biosensors

Kenneth E. Schackart, Jeong Yeol Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Since their inception, biosensors have frequently employed simple regression models to calculate analyte composition based on the biosensor’s signal magnitude. Traditionally, bioreceptors provide excellent sensitivity and specificity to the biosensor. Increasingly, however, bioreceptor-free biosensors have been developed for a wide range of applications. Without a bioreceptor, maintaining strong specificity and a low limit of detection have become the major challenge. Machine learning (ML) has been introduced to improve the performance of these biosensors, effectively replacing the bioreceptor with modeling to gain specificity. Here, we present how ML has been used to enhance the performance of these bioreceptor-free biosensors. Particularly, we discuss how ML has been used for imaging, Enose and Etongue, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) biosensors. Notably, principal component analysis (PCA) combined with support vector machine (SVM) and various artificial neural network (ANN) algorithms have shown outstanding performance in a variety of tasks. We anticipate that ML will continue to improve the performance of bioreceptor-free biosensors, especially with the prospects of sharing trained models and cloud computing for mobile computation. To facilitate this, the biosensing community would benefit from increased contributions to open-access data repositories for biosensor data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5519
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021


  • Artificial neural network
  • Label-free biosensor
  • Machine learning
  • Principal component analysis
  • Support vector machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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