We will write a custom Term Paper on Biosensor Tools in Sports Training specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Technology and Sports
The technological breakthrough that the world has witnessed over the past few decades is beyond impressive. The innovations created with the help of scientific discoveries in the target area and the devices that were created as a result have affected a range of domains, including economics, finances, and healthcare, to name just a few. Among the areas that have experienced a significant change due to the introduction of the above innovations, leisure, in general, and sports, in particular, deserve to be mentioned.
The purposes of the changes that sport has undergone are rather diverse. However, facilitating safety to all those involved, primarily, athletes is the most important goal of the training process manager. Therefore, it is possible to claim that technology has affected the rates of safety in sport significantly. Helping manage the existing risks and create a safer environment for athletes to train and compete in, technology has changed sports greatly.
When considering the methods of protection that technology has allowed for in the designated environment, one must mention the sportswear that has been upgraded to a considerable extent and monitoring devices. While the former protects against external threats, the latter contribute to the management of the internal ones. Because the health issues occurring to athletes because of health complications are harder to identify, the creation of the tools that permit a consistent analysis of the sportsmen’s health is a crucial step in facilitating safety in sport. Biosensors play a big role in the process above as they make the process of identifying the alterations in the athlete’s body very easy.
History of Biosensors
A comparatively recent invention, a biosensor is a tool for identifying the presence of chemicals in the cells of organisms. Therefore, applied to the realm of sports, a biosensor can be used to test a participant for using any performance enhancement drugs. The device is nowadays used widely in sports to maintain the integrity thereof and facilitate honesty and fairness in competitions (Gu and Kim 110).
The history of biosensors is not very easy to track down is considering the phenomenon in its broad sense as any means of identifying the presence of dangerous substances. For instance, the animals fleeing from the areas in which toxic substances impair their ability to breathe and pose a danger can be considered biosensors. However, as far as the use of chemical agents as markers of substances presence is concerned, the first biosensor was created in 1957 by L. C. Clark, who came up with the idea of an oxygen probe (Yoon par. 6).
The concept of a biosensor has been getting increasingly more complicated and intricate with time. Although the basic principle of their operation remained the same, the framework, the structure, and the overall look of the device have experienced minor changes. In 1976, the concept of an amperometric sensor was suggested. The microbial sensor emerged the same year, followed biochemical sensors in 1970–1972.
The ISEFT (ion-selective field-effect transistor) is the measurement tool allowed increasing the accuracy of the test results (Gu and Kim 110). The promotion of the electropolymerization approaches along with the design of fiber-optic sensors heralded a new era in the evolution of biosensors. The quartz-crystal microbalance biosensor released in 1983 was applied successfully to detect the presence of antigens and antibodies in the bloodstream (Mukhopadhyay par. 3).
The contemporary concept of a biosensor, however, has also experienced several updates that set it apart from the ones used in the 80s. For instance, the promotion of nanotechnology development has created premises for a novel platform. Although the work is still in progress, it is assumed that the “designed, fabricated, and tested a revolutionary biosensor that detects the presence of nucleic acid from complicated tissue samples in less than 5 min, referred to as DOTS qPCR” (Yoon par. 3).
In other words, the improvement of the technology in question occurred at a rather rapid pace, with the introduction of innovative approaches based on the nanotechnological studies. At some point in the designated area development, the idea of using gold nanoparticles synthesis as the tool for making the outcomes of measurements even more accurate (Moskovitch par. 8). How biosensors are altered with every technological innovation allows predicting the further course of their development. For instance, the incorporation of a rapid on-site system of detecting antigens and other agents in the patient’s body can be viewed as the next step in the progress of biosensors’ upgrade.
Biosensors and Sports Training
As it has been stressed above, biosensors are typically viewed as the means of addressing the intrusion of antibodies into the patient’s bloodstream. However, the technology in question has also gained significant popularity in the sports department. The reason for the phenomenon above to occur is rather simple. Because of the competitive nature of sports, athletes face the threat of overrating their abilities and, therefore, facing a serious health issue during competition. Which is even more dangerous, the problem may not be spotted fast enough by the people around or even by the athlete themselves.
Therefore, the introduction of the biosensors that help make a footprint of the athlete’s health rates in real-time and identify the emergent issues is imperative. The role of biosensors in sports training, therefore, will concern primarily monitoring the sportsmen’ health status and shaping the process of training so that the athlete could set the best score without damaging their health: “The data is then used to develop a more personalized approach to training, enhancing performance, as well as to predict what might put an athlete at risk, facilitating the very early diagnosis of, for instance, cardiac arrest” (Moskovitch par. 16).
The need to introduce the identified tools in the environment of sports training and competition is evident. With the promotion of the tools in question, one will be able to reduce the number of health risks that athletes have to deal with regularly. Indeed, relying on one’s evaluation of the current health status will be quite dangerous as an athlete may fail to recognize the symptoms of an oncoming collapse, fit, or any other issue that may occur during the training session or competition.
As a rule, it is only after the damage is done that one recognizes the problem. However, at the given stage, it may be too late to address the health concern. Even in a less tragic scenario, late detection of a problem is likely to lead to longer recovery time and a larger number of complications. The use of biosensors as the immediate indicators of the participants’ health, in turn, will allow for locating the issue before the athlete notices it. As a result, a range of health concerns may be prevented.
It would be wrong to assume that the tool mentioned above is a silver bullet for preventing health issues from occurring during training or sports competitions. Because of the abundance of distracters and other impediments to providing the required healthcare services to an injured athlete, the latter may face the threat of suffering a significant injury or even dying before they are provided with the necessary services and transported to the safe environment of a healthcare facility. However, much to the credit of the experts working on improving the specified tools, biosensors help trace the changes in the athlete’s body accurately and identify the slightest alterations in the crucial indices within seconds. Therefore, biosensors must be viewed as an integral part of any event related to sports training or competitions.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Also, researches show that biosensors are very effective when it comes to determining cheaters among sportsmen (Mukhopadhyay par. 11). According to a recent study, the use of a biosensor as the means of identifying the prohibited substances in athletes occurs at the genome level: “Maria Minunni and her team at the University of Florence in Italy have developed an affinity-based biosensor to identify genes that are artificially inserted into a genome” (Mukhopadhyay par. 18). In other words, the application of a biosensor may require a substantive genetic analysis so that the artificial elements of a chromosome could be isolated and that the corresponding substance should be detected.
Gu, Man Bock, and Hak-Sung Kim. Biosensors Based on Aptamers and Enzymes. New York, NY: Springer. Web.
Moskovitch, Katia 2012, “Biosensors Calculate the Road to Sporting Victory.” BBC News. Web.
Mukhopadhyay, Rajendrani 2010, To Catch a Cheating Athlete. Web.
Yoon, Jung-Yen 2012, Nanotechnology and Biosensors. Web.