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Chemosensors, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 36 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Microscopic views of the thermocatalytic sensor chip mounted in the SMD compatible ceramic package, open and encapsulated. The two microhotplates are covered with catalyst (grey) and chemically inert reference materials (white). View this paper.
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Review
Recent Progress in the Correlative Structured Illumination Microscopy
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 364; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120364 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 332
Abstract
The super-resolution imaging technique of structured illumination microscopy (SIM) enables the mixing of high-frequency information into the optical transmission domain via light-source modulation, thus breaking the optical diffraction limit. Correlative SIM, which combines other techniques with SIM, offers more versatility or higher imaging [...] Read more.
The super-resolution imaging technique of structured illumination microscopy (SIM) enables the mixing of high-frequency information into the optical transmission domain via light-source modulation, thus breaking the optical diffraction limit. Correlative SIM, which combines other techniques with SIM, offers more versatility or higher imaging resolution than traditional SIM. In this review, we first briefly introduce the imaging mechanism and development trends of conventional SIM. Then, the principles and recent developments of correlative SIM techniques are reviewed. Finally, the future development directions of SIM and its correlative microscopies are presented. Full article
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Article
Development of Gold Nanoparticles Decorated Molecularly Imprinted–Based Plasmonic Sensor for the Detection of Aflatoxin M1 in Milk Samples
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 363; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120363 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Aflatoxins are a group of extremely toxic and carcinogenic substances generated by the mold of the genus Aspergillus that contaminate agricultural products. When dairy cows ingest aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)−contaminated feeds, it is metabolized and transformed in the liver into a carcinogenic major form [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are a group of extremely toxic and carcinogenic substances generated by the mold of the genus Aspergillus that contaminate agricultural products. When dairy cows ingest aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)−contaminated feeds, it is metabolized and transformed in the liver into a carcinogenic major form of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), which is eliminated through the milk. The detection of AFM1 in milk is very important to be able to guarantee food safety and quality. In recent years, sensors have emerged as a quick, low–cost, and reliable platform for the detection of aflatoxins. Plasmonic sensors with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) can be interesting alternatives for the determination of AFM1. In this work, we designed a molecularly–imprinted–based plasmonic sensor to directly detect lower amounts of AFM1 in raw milk samples. For this purpose, we prepared gold–nanoparticle–(AuNP)−integrated polymer nanofilm on a gold plasmonic sensor chip coated with allyl mercaptan. N−methacryloyl−l−phenylalanine (MAPA) was chosen as a functional monomer. The MIP nanofilm was prepared using the light–initiated polymerization of MAPA and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate in the presence of AFM1 as a template molecule. The developed method enabled the detection of AFM1 with a detection limit of 0.4 pg/mL and demonstrated good linearity (0.0003 ng/mL–20.0 ng/mL) under optimized experimental conditions. The AFM1 determination was performed in random dairy farmer milk samples. Using the analogous mycotoxins, it was also demonstrated that the plasmonic sensor platforms were specific to the detection of AFM1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecularly Imprinted Plasmonic Sensor)
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Article
Development of a MIP-Based QCM Sensor for Selective Detection of Penicillins in Aqueous Media
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 362; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120362 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals wastes have been recognized as emerging pollutants to the environment. Among those, antibiotics in the aquatic environment are one of the major sources of concern, as chronic, low-dose exposure can lead to antibiotic resistance. Herein, we report on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals wastes have been recognized as emerging pollutants to the environment. Among those, antibiotics in the aquatic environment are one of the major sources of concern, as chronic, low-dose exposure can lead to antibiotic resistance. Herein, we report on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) to recognize penicillin V potassium salt (PenV-K), penicillin G potassium salt (PenG-K), and amoxicillin sodium salt (Amo-Na), which belong to the most widespread group of antibiotics worldwide. Characterization and optimization led to two MIPs comprising methacrylic acid as the monomer and roughly 55% ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as the crosslinker. The obtained layers led to sensitive, selective, repeatable, and reusable sensor responses on quartz crystal microbalances (QCM). The LoD for PenV-K, PenG-K, and Amo-Na sensors are 0.25 mM, 0.30 mM, and 0.28 mM, respectively; imprinting factors reach at least around three. Furthermore, the sensors displayed relative selectivity factors of up to 50% among the three penicillins, which is appreciable given their structural similarity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymer-Based Chemical and Biological Sensors)
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Article
Electrodes for Paracetamol Sensing Modified with Bismuth Oxide and Oxynitrate Heterostructures: An Experimental and Computational Study
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 361; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120361 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 459
Abstract
In this work, novel platforms for paracetamol sensing were developed by the deposition of Bi2O3, Bi5O7NO3 and their heterostructures onto screen-printed carbon-paste electrodes. An easy and scalable solid state synthesis route was employed, and [...] Read more.
In this work, novel platforms for paracetamol sensing were developed by the deposition of Bi2O3, Bi5O7NO3 and their heterostructures onto screen-printed carbon-paste electrodes. An easy and scalable solid state synthesis route was employed, and by setting the calcination temperatures at 500 °C and 525 °C we induced the formation of heterostructures of Bi2O3 and Bi5O7NO3. Cyclic voltammetry measurements highlighted that the heterostructure produced at 500 °C provided a significant enhancement in performance compared to the monophases of Bi2O and Bi5O7NO3, respectively. That heterostructure showed a mean peak-to-peak separation Ep of 411 mV and a sensitivity increment of up to 70% compared to bare electrodes. A computational study was also performed in order to evaluate the geometrical and kinetic parameters of representative clusters of bismuth oxide and subnitrate when they interact with paracetamol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based on Bio/Chemical Sensors)
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Article
Flexible Impedimetric Electronic Nose for High-Accurate Determination of Individual Volatile Organic Compounds by Tuning the Graphene Sensitive Properties
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 360; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120360 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 461
Abstract
We investigated functionalized graphene materials to create highly sensitive sensors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, acetone, and isopropanol. First, we prepared VOC-sensitive films consisting of mechanically exfoliated graphene (eG) and chemical graphene oxide (GO), which have different concentrations [...] Read more.
We investigated functionalized graphene materials to create highly sensitive sensors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, acetone, and isopropanol. First, we prepared VOC-sensitive films consisting of mechanically exfoliated graphene (eG) and chemical graphene oxide (GO), which have different concentrations of structural defects. We deposited the films on silver interdigitated electrodes on Kapton substrate and submitted them to thermal treatment. Next, we measured the sensitive properties of the resulting sensors towards specific VOCs by impedance spectroscopy. We obtained the eG- and GO-based electronic nose composed of two eG films- and four GO film-based sensors with variable sensitivity to individual VOCs. The smallest relative change in impedance was 5% for the sensor based on eG film annealed at 180 °C toward 10 ppm formaldehyde, whereas the highest relative change was 257% for the sensor based on two-layers deposited GO film annealed at 200 °C toward 80 ppm ethanol. At 10 ppm VOC, the GO film-based sensors were sensitive enough to distinguish between individual VOCs, which implied excellent selectivity, as confirmed by Principle Component Analysis (PCA). According to a PCA-Support Vector Machine-based signal processing method, the electronic nose provided identification accuracy of 100% for individual VOCs. The proposed electronic nose can be used to detect multiple VOCs selectively because each sensor is sensitive to VOCs and has significant cross-selectivity to others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors: Simulation, Modeling, and Characterization)
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Article
Fluorescence-Based On-Resin Detection of Three Model Proteases
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 359; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120359 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
A new approach to on-resin detection of three model proteases (trypsin, chymotrypsin, and thrombin) has been developed, while at the same time already described methodology for simultaneous detection of two enzymes (trypsin and chymotrypsin) has been additionally generalized. Appropriate immobilized substrates, comprising specifically [...] Read more.
A new approach to on-resin detection of three model proteases (trypsin, chymotrypsin, and thrombin) has been developed, while at the same time already described methodology for simultaneous detection of two enzymes (trypsin and chymotrypsin) has been additionally generalized. Appropriate immobilized substrates, comprising specifically cleavable peptide sequences capped with fluorescent dyes, have been synthesized on Rink Amide PEGA resin or Amino PEGA resin modified with backbone amide linker (BAL). Resulting solid support-bound probes were then dispersed into Tris-HCl buffer solution (pH = 8.0) and subjected to enzymatic cleavage. Liberated fluorophores have been tracked by fluorescence measuring. The competitive activities of studied proteases towards the thrombin probe have been efficiently limited and controlled by employing a Bowman-Birk inhibitor into a system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Optical Chemical Sensors)
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Article
Histidine Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for Screening Aminoglycosides and Nanomolar Level Detection of Streptomycin in Water, Milk, and Whey
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 358; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120358 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Aminoglycoside (AMG) antibiotics are being applied to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, mainly in livestock, and are prescribed only in severe cases because of their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Monitoring antibiotic residues in dairy products relies on the [...] Read more.
Aminoglycoside (AMG) antibiotics are being applied to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, mainly in livestock, and are prescribed only in severe cases because of their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Monitoring antibiotic residues in dairy products relies on the accessibility of portable and efficient analytical techniques. Presently, high-throughput screening techniques have been proposed to detect several antimicrobial drugs having identical structural and functional features. The L-histidine functionalized gold nanoparticles ([email protected]) do not form a complex with other tested antibiotic classes but show high selectivity for AMG antibiotics. We used ligand-induced aggregation of [email protected] as a rapid and sensitive localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) assay for AMG antibiotics, producing longitudinal extinction shifts at 660 nm. Herein, we explore the practical application of [email protected] to detect streptomycin spiked in water, milk, and whey fraction of milk with nanomolar level sensitivity. The ability of the analytical method to recognize target analytes sensitively and rapidly is of great significance to perform monitoring, thus would certainly reassure widespread use of AMG antibiotics. The biosynthesis of hybrid organic–inorganic metal nanoparticles like [email protected] with desired size distribution, stability, and specific host–guest recognition proficiency, would further facilitate applications in various other fields. Full article
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Article
A Model System for Sensitive Detection of Viable E. coli Bacteria Combining Direct Viability PCR and a Novel Microarray-Based Detection Approach
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 357; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120357 - 13 Dec 2021
Viewed by 334
Abstract
We established an innovative approach that included direct, viability, and nested PCR for rapid and reliable identification of the fecal indicator organism Escherichia coli (E. coli). Direct PCR enabled successful amplification of the target uidA gene, omitting a prior DNA isolation [...] Read more.
We established an innovative approach that included direct, viability, and nested PCR for rapid and reliable identification of the fecal indicator organism Escherichia coli (E. coli). Direct PCR enabled successful amplification of the target uidA gene, omitting a prior DNA isolation or purification step. Furthermore, we applied viability PCR (v-PCR) to ensure the detection of only relevant viable bacterial cells. The principle involves the binding of propidium monoazide (PMA), a selective nucleic acid intercalating dye, to accessible DNA of heat killed bacteria cells and, consequently, allows viable and heat killed E. coli cells to be discriminated. To ensure high sensitivity, direct v-PCR was followed by a nested PCR step. The resulting amplicons were analyzed by a rapid 30 min microarray-based DNA hybridization assay for species-specific DNA detection of E. coli. A positive signal was indicated by enzymatically generated silver nanoparticle deposits, which served as robust endpoint signals allowing an immediate visual readout. The presented novel protocol allows the detection of 1 × 101 viable E. coli cells per PCR run. Full article
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Article
Sensor-Embedded Face Masks for Detection of Volatiles in Breath: A Proof of Concept Study
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 356; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120356 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 471
Abstract
The correlation between breath volatilome and health is prompting a growing interest in the development of sensors optimized for breath analysis. On the other hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 evidenced that breath is a vehicle of infection; thus, the introduction of low-cost and [...] Read more.
The correlation between breath volatilome and health is prompting a growing interest in the development of sensors optimized for breath analysis. On the other hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 evidenced that breath is a vehicle of infection; thus, the introduction of low-cost and disposable devices is becoming urgent for a clinical implementation of breath analysis. In this paper, a proof of concept about the functionalization of face masks is provided. Porphyrin-based sensors are among the most performant devices for breath analysis, but since porphyrins are scarcely conductive, they make use of costly and bulky mass or optical transducers. To overcome this drawback, we introduce here a hybrid material made of conducting polymer and porphyrins. The resulting material can be easily deposited on the internal surface of standard FFP face masks producing resistive sensors that retain the chemical sensitivity of porphyrins implementing their combinatorial selectivity for the identification of volatile compounds and the classification of complex samples. The sensitivity of sensors has been tested with respect to a set of seven volatile compounds representative of diverse chemical families. Sensors react to all compounds but with a different sensitivity pattern. Functionalized face masks have been tested in a proof-of-concept test aimed at identifying changes of breath due to the ingestion of beverages (coffee and wine) and solid food (banana- and mint-flavored candies). Results indicate that sensors can detect volatile compounds against the background of normal breath VOCs, suggesting the possibility to embed sensors in face masks for extensive breath analysis Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors: Simulation, Modeling, and Characterization)
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Article
Detection of Monilia Contamination in Plum and Plum Juice with NIR Spectroscopy and Electronic Tongue
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 355; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120355 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Plums are one of the commercially important stone fruits that are available on the market in both fresh and processed form and the most sought-after products are prunes, cans, jams, and juices. Maturity, harvest, and post-harvest technologies fundamentally determine the relatively short shelf [...] Read more.
Plums are one of the commercially important stone fruits that are available on the market in both fresh and processed form and the most sought-after products are prunes, cans, jams, and juices. Maturity, harvest, and post-harvest technologies fundamentally determine the relatively short shelf life of plums which is often threatened by Monilinia spp. Causing brown rot worldwide. The aim of the present research was to use advanced analytical techniques, such as hand-held near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and electronic tongue (e-tongue) to detect M. fructigena fungal infection on plums and quantify this fungal contamination in raw plum juices. For this purpose, plums were inoculated with fungal mycelia in different ways (control, intact, and through injury) and stored under different conditions (5 °C, and 24 °C) for eight days. The results obtained with the two instruments were analyzed with chemometric methods, such as linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and partial least squares regression (PLSR). The NIRS-based method proved successful when detectability before the appearance of visible signs of the infection was studied. E-tongue was able to detect and quantify the concentration of juice derived from plum developed with M. fructigena with RMSECV lower than 5% w/w. Overall, the two methods proved to be suitable for discriminating between the treatment groups, however, the classification accuracy was higher for samples stored at 24 °C. The research results show both NIRS and e-tongue are beneficial methods to reduce food waste by providing rapid determination of fruit quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemosensors and Biosensors for Food Quality and Safety)
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Article
Functionalization of Screen-Printed Sensors with a High Reactivity Carbonaceous Material for Ascorbic Acid Detection in Fresh-Cut Fruit with Low Vitamin C Content
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 354; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120354 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
In this study, carbon screen-printed sensors (C-SPEs) were functionalized with a high reactivity carbonaceous material (HRCM) to measure the ascorbic acid (AA) concentration in fresh-cut fruit (i.e., watermelon and apple) with a low content of vitamin C. HRCM and the functionalized working electrodes [...] Read more.
In this study, carbon screen-printed sensors (C-SPEs) were functionalized with a high reactivity carbonaceous material (HRCM) to measure the ascorbic acid (AA) concentration in fresh-cut fruit (i.e., watermelon and apple) with a low content of vitamin C. HRCM and the functionalized working electrodes (WEs) were characterized by SEM and TEM. The increases in the electroactive area and in the diffusion of AA molecules towards the WE surface were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperometry. The performance of HRCM-SPEs were evaluated by CV and constant potential amperometry compared with the non-functionalized C-SPEs and MW-SPEs nanostructured with multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The results indicated that SPEs functionalized with 5 mg/mL of HRCM and 10 mg/mL of MWCNTs had the best performances. HRCM and MWCNTs increased the electroactive area by 1.2 and 1.4 times, respectively, whereas, after functionalization, the AA diffusion rate towards the electrode surface increased by an order of 10. The calibration slopes of HRCM and MWCNTs improved from 1.9 to 3.7 times, thus reducing the LOD of C-SPE from 0.55 to 0.15 and 0.28 μM, respectively. Finally, the functionalization of the SPEs proved to be indispensable for determining the AA concentration in the watermelon and apple samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrochemical Devices and Sensors)
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Article
Online Inertial Machine Learning for Sensor Array Long-Term Drift Compensation
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 353; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120353 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
The sensor drift problem is objective and inevitable, and drift compensation has essential research significance. For long-term drift, we propose a data preprocessing method, which is different from conventional research methods, and a machine learning framework that supports online self-training and data analysis [...] Read more.
The sensor drift problem is objective and inevitable, and drift compensation has essential research significance. For long-term drift, we propose a data preprocessing method, which is different from conventional research methods, and a machine learning framework that supports online self-training and data analysis without additional sensor production costs. The data preprocessing method proposed can effectively solve the problems of sign error, decimal point error, and outliers in data samples. The framework, which we call inertial machine learning, takes advantage of the recent inertia of high classification accuracy to extend the reliability of sensors. We establish a reasonable memory and forgetting mechanism for the framework, and the choice of base classifier is not limited. In this paper, we use a support vector machine as the base classifier and use the gas sensor array drift dataset in the UCI machine learning repository for experiments. By analyzing the experimental results, the classification accuracy is greatly improved, the effective time of the sensor array is extended by 4–10 months, and the time of single response and model adjustment is less than 300 ms, which is well in line with the actual application scenarios. The research ideas and results in this paper have a certain reference value for the research in related fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gas Sensors)
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Article
Structural and Electrochemical Studies of Cobalt(II) and Nickel(II) Coordination Polymers with 6-Oxonicotinate and 4,4′-Bipyridine
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120352 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
The 6-oxonicotinate (6-Onic) salts of a one-dimensional cationic cobalt(II) or nickel(II) coordination polymers with 4,4′-bipyridine (4,4′-bpy), namely {[Co(4,4′-bpy)(H2O)4](6-Onic)2·2H2O}n (1) and {[Ni(4,4′-bpy)(H2O)4](6-Onic)2·2H2O}n (2 [...] Read more.
The 6-oxonicotinate (6-Onic) salts of a one-dimensional cationic cobalt(II) or nickel(II) coordination polymers with 4,4′-bipyridine (4,4′-bpy), namely {[Co(4,4′-bpy)(H2O)4](6-Onic)2·2H2O}n (1) and {[Ni(4,4′-bpy)(H2O)4](6-Onic)2·2H2O}n (2), were prepared hydrothermally by reactions of cobalt(II) nitrate hexahydrate or nickel(II) nitrate hexahydrate, respectively, 6-hydroxynicotinic acid and 4,4′-bipyridine in a mixture of ethanol and water. In the hydrogen-bonded frameworks of 1 and 2, the one-dimensional polymeric chains of {[M(4,4′-bpy)(H2O)4]2+}n (M = Co, Ni), the 6-oxonicotinate anions and the lattice water molecules were assembled via strong intermolecular O–H···O and N–H···O hydrogen bonds and ππ interactions, leading to the formation of the representative hydrogen-bond ring motifs: trimeric R23(10) motif, the centrosymmetric tetrameric R24(8) and R24(12) motifs and the pentameric R45(12) motif. The isostructural coordination polymers 1 and 2 exhibited a different electrochemical behavior, as observed by cyclic voltammetry, which can be attributed to the nature of the metal ions (cobalt(II) vs. nickel(II)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Complexes for Sensor Design and Electrochemical Applications)
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Article
Application of the Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensor Combined with Microfluidic System and Calibration Readout Circuit
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 351; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120351 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
In this research, we proposed a potentiometric sensor based on copper doped zinc oxide (CZO) films to detect glucose. Silver nanowires were used to improve the sensor’s average sensitivity, and we used the low power consumption instrumentation amplifier (UGFPCIA) designed by our research [...] Read more.
In this research, we proposed a potentiometric sensor based on copper doped zinc oxide (CZO) films to detect glucose. Silver nanowires were used to improve the sensor’s average sensitivity, and we used the low power consumption instrumentation amplifier (UGFPCIA) designed by our research group to measure the sensing characteristics of the sensor. It was proved that the sensor performs better when using this system. In order to observe the stability of the sensor, we also studied the influence of two kinds of non-ideal effects on the sensor, such as the drift effect and the hysteresis effect. For this reason, we chose to combine the calibration readout circuit with the voltage-time (V-T) measurement system to optimize the measurement environment and successfully reduced the instability of the sensor. The drift rate was reduced by about 51.1%, and the hysteresis rate was reduced by 13% and 28% at different measurement cycles. In addition, the characteristics of the sensor under dynamic conditions were also investigated, and it was found that the sensor has an average sensitivity of 13.71 mV/mM and the linearity of 0.998 at a flow rate of 5.6 μL/min. Full article
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Review
Overview of Quartz Crystal Microbalance Behavior Analysis and Measurement
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 350; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120350 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) is one of the many acoustic transducers. It is the most popular and widely used acoustic transducer for sensor applications. It has found wide applications in chemical and biosensing fields owing to its high sensitivity, robustness, small sized-design, and [...] Read more.
Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) is one of the many acoustic transducers. It is the most popular and widely used acoustic transducer for sensor applications. It has found wide applications in chemical and biosensing fields owing to its high sensitivity, robustness, small sized-design, and ease of integration with electronic measurement systems. However, it is necessary to coat QCM with a sensing film. Without coating materials, its selectivity and sensitivity are not obtained. At present, this is not an issue, mainly due to the advancement of oscillator circuits and dedicated measurement circuits. Since a new researcher may seek to understand QCM sensors, we provide an overview of QCM from its fundamental knowledge. Then, we explain some of the recent QCM applications both in gas-phase and liquid-phase. Next, the theory of QCM is introduced by using piezoelectric stress equations and the Mason equivalent circuit, which explains how the QCM behavior is obtained. Then, the conventional equations that govern QCM behaviors in terms of resonant frequency and resistance are described. We show the behavior of QCM with a viscous film based on the acoustic wave equation and Mason equivalent circuit. Then, we present various existing QCM electronic measurement methods. Furthermore, we describe the experiment on QCM with viscous loading and its interpretation based on the Mason equivalent circuit. Lastly, we review some theoretical models to describe QCM behavior with various models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Chemical Sensors)
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Article
Fluorescent AgNCs Formed on Bifunctional DNA Template for Potassium Ion Detection
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 349; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120349 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
In this study, we examined properties of silver nanoclusters, which are AgNCs stabilized by DNA oligonucleotide scaffold containing G-quadruplex-forming sequences: human telomeric (Tel22) or thrombin-binding aptamer (TBA). Thus, we obtained two fluorescent probes abbreviated as Tel22C12-AgNCs and TBAC12-AgNCs, which were characterized using absorption, [...] Read more.
In this study, we examined properties of silver nanoclusters, which are AgNCs stabilized by DNA oligonucleotide scaffold containing G-quadruplex-forming sequences: human telomeric (Tel22) or thrombin-binding aptamer (TBA). Thus, we obtained two fluorescent probes abbreviated as Tel22C12-AgNCs and TBAC12-AgNCs, which were characterized using absorption, circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy. Both probes emit green and red fluorescence. The presence of silver nanoclusters did not destabilize the formed G-quadruplexes. The structural changes of probes upon binding K+ or Na+ ions cause quenching in their red emission. Green emission was slightly quenched only in the case of Tel22C12-AgNCs; on the contrary, for TBAC12-AgNC’s green emission, we observed an increasing fluorescence signal. Moreover, the Tel22C12-AgNCs system shows not only a higher binding preference for K+ over Na+, but it was able to monitor small changes in K+ concentrations in the buffer mimicking extracellular conditions (high content of Na+ ions). These results suggest that Tel22C12-AgNCs exhibit the potential to monitor transmembrane potassium transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section (Bio)chemical Sensing)
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Article
A 4 × 4 Array of Complementary Split-Ring Resonators for Label-Free Dielectric Spectroscopy
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 348; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120348 - 08 Dec 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
In this study, complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR) metamaterial structures are proposed for label-free dielectric spectroscopy of liquids in microplates. This novel combination of an array of sensors and microplates is readily scalable and thus offers a great potential for non-invasive, rapid, and label-free [...] Read more.
In this study, complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR) metamaterial structures are proposed for label-free dielectric spectroscopy of liquids in microplates. This novel combination of an array of sensors and microplates is readily scalable and thus offers a great potential for non-invasive, rapid, and label-free dielectric spectroscopy of liquids in large microplate arrays. The proposed array of sensors on a printed circuit board consists of a microstrip line coupled to four CSRRs in cascade with resonant frequencies ranging from 7 to 10 GHz, spaced around 1 GHz. The microwells were manufactured and bonded to the CSRR using polydimethylsiloxane, whose resonant frequency is dependent on a complex relative permittivity of the liquid loaded in the microwell. The individual microstrip lines with CSRRs were interconnected to the measurement equipment using two electronically controllable microwave switches, which enables microwave measurements of the 4 × 4 CSRR array using only a two-port measurement system. The 4 × 4 microwell sensor arrays were calibrated and evaluated using water-ethanol mixtures with different ethanol concentrations. The proposed measurement setup offers comparable results to ones obtained using a dielectric probe, confirming the potential of the planar sensor array for large-scale microplate experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Biosensing Platform)
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Article
Electrochemical Sensing of Interactions between DNA and Charged Macrocycles
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors9120347 - 08 Dec 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
In this work, we investigated aggregation of native DNA and thiacalix[4]arene derivative bearing eight terminal amino groups in cone configuration using various redox probes on the glassy carbon electrode. It was shown that sorption transfer of the aggregates on the surface of the [...] Read more.
In this work, we investigated aggregation of native DNA and thiacalix[4]arene derivative bearing eight terminal amino groups in cone configuration using various redox probes on the glassy carbon electrode. It was shown that sorption transfer of the aggregates on the surface of the electrode covered with carbon black resulted in changes in electrostatic interactions and diffusional permeability of the surface layer. Such changes alter the signals of ferricyanide ion, methylene green and hydroquinone as redox probes to a degree depending on their specific interactions with DNA and own charge. Inclusion of DNA in the surface layer was independently confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and experiments with doxorubicin as a model intercalator. Thermal denaturing of DNA affected the charge separation on the electrode interface and the signals of redox probes. Using hydroquinone, less sensitive to electrostatic interactions, made it possible to determine from 10 pM to 1.0 nM doxorubicin (limit of detection 3 pM) after 10 min incubation. Stabilizers present in the commercial medications did not alter the signal. The DNA sensors developed can find future application in the assessment of the complexes formed by DNA and macrocycles as delivery agents for small chemical species. Full article
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Article
Macrocycle-Functionalized RGO for Gas Sensors for BTX Detection Using a Double Transduction Mode
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 346; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120346 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 439
Abstract
To fabricate mass and resistive sensors based on reduced graphene oxide (RGO), we investigated the functionalization of RGO by tetra tert-butyl phthalocyanine (PcH2tBu), which possesses a macroring and tert-butyl peripheral groups. Herein, we present the gas sensor responses of the functionalized [...] Read more.
To fabricate mass and resistive sensors based on reduced graphene oxide (RGO), we investigated the functionalization of RGO by tetra tert-butyl phthalocyanine (PcH2tBu), which possesses a macroring and tert-butyl peripheral groups. Herein, we present the gas sensor responses of the functionalized RGO toward benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) vapors. The RGO was obtained by the reduction of graphene oxide (GO) using citrate as a reducing agent, while the functionalization was achieved non-covalently by simply using ultrasonic and heating treatment. The sensor devices based on both QCM (quartz crystal microbalance) and resistive transducers were used simultaneously to understand the reactivity. Both the GO and the RGO showed less sensitivity to BTX vapors, while the RGO/PcH2tBu presented enhanced sensor responses. These results show that the p-network plays a very important role in targeting BTX vapors. The resistive response analysis allowed us to state that the RGO is a p-type semiconductor and that the interaction is governed by charge transfer, while the QCM response profiles allowed use to determine the differences between the BTX vapors. Among BTX, benzene shows the weakest sensitivity and a reactivity in the higher concentration range (>600 ppm). The toluene and xylene showed linear responses in the range of 100–600 ppm. Full article
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Article
Flexible Low-Temperature Ammonia Gas Sensor Based on Reduced Graphene Oxide and Molybdenum Disulfide
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 345; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120345 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Owing to harsh working environments and complex industrial requirements, traditional gas sensors are prone to deformation damage, possess a limited detection range, require a high working temperature, and display low reliability, thereby necessitating the development of flexible and low-temperature gas sensors. In this [...] Read more.
Owing to harsh working environments and complex industrial requirements, traditional gas sensors are prone to deformation damage, possess a limited detection range, require a high working temperature, and display low reliability, thereby necessitating the development of flexible and low-temperature gas sensors. In this study, we developed a low-temperature polyimide (PI)-based flexible gas sensor comprising a reduced graphene oxide (rGO)/MoS2 composite. The micro-electro-mechanical system technology was used to fabricate Au electrodes on a flexible PI sheet to form a “sandwiched” sensor structure. The rGO/MoS2 composites were synthesized via a one-step hydrothermal method. The gas-sensing response was the highest for the composite comprising 10% rGO. The structure of this material was characterized, and a PI-based flexible gas sensor comprising rGO/MoS2 was fabricated. The optimal working temperature of the sensor was 141 °C, and its response-recovery time was significantly short upon exposure to 50–1500 ppm NH3. Thus, this sensor exhibited high selectivity and a wide NH3 detection range. Furthermore, it possessed the advantages of low power consumption, a short response-recovery time, a low working temperature, flexibility, and variability. Our findings provide a new framework for the development of pollutant sensors that can be utilized in an industrial environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D Materials for Gas Sensing)
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Communication
Core-Shell Iron-Nickel Hexacyanoferrate Nanoparticle-Based Sensors for Hydrogen Peroxide Scavenging Activity
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120344 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
To access hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity, we propose a sensor based on core-shell iron-nickel hexacyanoferrate nanoparticles. On the one hand, the sensor preparation procedure is simple: syringing the nanoparticles suspension with subsequent annealing. On the other hand, the sensor demonstrates a stable response [...] Read more.
To access hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity, we propose a sensor based on core-shell iron-nickel hexacyanoferrate nanoparticles. On the one hand, the sensor preparation procedure is simple: syringing the nanoparticles suspension with subsequent annealing. On the other hand, the sensor demonstrates a stable response to 0.05 mM of H2O2 within one hour, which is sufficient for the evaluation of antioxidant activity (AO). The analytical performance characteristics of the sensor (0.5–0.6 A M−1 cm−2, detection limit 1.5 × 10−7 M and linear dynamic range 1–1000 µM) are leads to advantages over the sensor based on Prussian Blue films. The pseudo-first-order constant of hydrogen peroxide scavenging was chosen as a characteristic value of AO. The latter for trolox (standard antioxidant) was found to be linearly dependent on its concentration, thus allowing for the evaluation of antioxidant activity in trolox equivalents. The approach was validated by analyzing real beverage samples. Both the simplicity of sensor preparation and an expressiveness of analytical procedure would obviously provide a wide use of the proposed approach in the evaluation of antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical Sensors for Antioxidant/Oxidant Activity Monitoring)
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Communication
pH-Dependent Selective Colorimetric Detection of Proline and Hydroxyproline with Meldrum’s Acid-Furfural Conjugate
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 343; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120343 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Activated 2-furfural gives intense color formation when reacted with amines, due to a ring opening reaction cascade that furnishes a conjugated molecular system. Unique colorimetric characteristic of this reaction makes it an interesting candidate for developing chemosensors operating in visible range. Among many [...] Read more.
Activated 2-furfural gives intense color formation when reacted with amines, due to a ring opening reaction cascade that furnishes a conjugated molecular system. Unique colorimetric characteristic of this reaction makes it an interesting candidate for developing chemosensors operating in visible range. Among many activated 2-furfural derivatives, Meldrum’s acid furfural conjugate (MAFC) recently gained significant interest as colorimetric chemosensor. MAFC has been explored as selective chemosensor for detecting amines in solution, secondary amines on polymer surfaces and even nitrogen rich amino acids (AA) in aqueous solution. In this work, the pH dependency of MAFC-AA reaction is explored. It was found that proline gives an exceptionally fast colored reaction at pH 11, whereas at other pHs, no naked eye color product formation was observed. The reaction sequence including ring opening reaction upon nucleophilic addition of cyclic amine of proline resulting in a conjugated triene was confirmed by NMR titrations. The highly pH dependent reaction can e.g., potentially be used to detect proline presence in biological samples. An even more intense color formation takes place in the reaction of natural proline derivative 4-hydroxyproline. The detection limit of proline and 4-hydroxyproline with MAFC solution was found to be 11 µM and 6 µM respectively. Full article
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Article
Carbon Dioxide Sensing with Langmuir–Blodgett Graphene Films
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 342; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120342 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Graphene has become a material of choice for an increasing number of scientific and industrial applications. It has been used for gas sensing due to its favorable properties, such as a large specific surface area, as well as the sensitivity of its electrical [...] Read more.
Graphene has become a material of choice for an increasing number of scientific and industrial applications. It has been used for gas sensing due to its favorable properties, such as a large specific surface area, as well as the sensitivity of its electrical parameters to adsorption processes occurring on its surface. Efforts are ongoing to produce graphene gas sensors by using methods that are compatible with scaling, simple deposition techniques on arbitrary substrates, and ease of use. In this paper, we demonstrate the fabrication of carbon dioxide gas sensors from Langmuir–Blodgett thin films of sulfonated polyaniline-functionalized graphene that was obtained by using electrochemical exfoliation. The sensor was tested within the highly relevant concentration range of 150 to 10,000 ppm and 0% to 100% at room temperature (15 to 35 °C). The results show that the sensor has both high sensitivity to low analyte concentrations and high dynamic range. The sensor response times are approximately 15 s. The fabrication method is simple, scalable, and compatible with arbitrary substrates, which makes it potentially interesting for many practical applications. The sensor is used for real-time carbon dioxide concentration monitoring based on a theoretical model matched to our experimental data. The sensor performance was unchanged over a period of several months. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D Materials for Gas Sensing)
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Article
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) As a Novel Biorecognition Element in A Cell-Based Biosensor for the Ultra-Rapid, Ultra-Sensitive Detection of the SARS-CoV-2 S1 Spike Protein Antigen
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 341; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120341 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Antigen screening for the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein is among the most promising tools for the mass monitoring of asymptomatic carriers of the virus, especially in limited resource environments. Herewith, we report on the possible use of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the [...] Read more.
Antigen screening for the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein is among the most promising tools for the mass monitoring of asymptomatic carriers of the virus, especially in limited resource environments. Herewith, we report on the possible use of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the natural receptor and entry point of the virus, as a biorecognition element for the detection of the S1 antigen combined with an established bioelectric biosensor based on membrane-engineered cells. The working principle of our approach is based on the measurable change of the electric potential of membrane-engineered mammalian cells bearing ACE2 after attachment of the respective viral protein. We demonstrate that sensitive and selective detection of the S1 antigen is feasible in just three min, with a limit of detection of 20 fg/mL. In a preliminary clinical application, positive patient-derived samples were identified with a 87.9% score compared to RT-PCR. No cross-reactivity was observed against a wide range of nucleocapsid protein concentrations. The novel biosensor is embedded in a commercially ready-to-use testing platform, complete with the consumable immobilized cell–electrode interface and a portable read-out device operable through smartphone or tablet. In addition, the possible application of the system for the high throughput screening of potential pharmacological inhibitors of the ACE2 receptor-S1 RBD interaction is discussed. Full article
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Article
Silicon MEMS Thermocatalytic Gas Sensor in Miniature Surface Mounted Device Form
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 340; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120340 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
A reduced size thermocatalytic gas sensor was developed for the detection of methane over the 20% of the explosive concentration. The sensor chip is formed from two membranes with a 150 µm diameter heated area in their centers and covered with highly dispersed [...] Read more.
A reduced size thermocatalytic gas sensor was developed for the detection of methane over the 20% of the explosive concentration. The sensor chip is formed from two membranes with a 150 µm diameter heated area in their centers and covered with highly dispersed nano-sized catalyst and inert reference, respectively. The power dissipation of the chip is well below 70 mW at the 530 °C maximum operation temperature. The chip is mounted in a novel surface mounted metal-ceramic sensor package in the form-factor of SOT-89. The sensitivity of the device is 10 mV/v%, whereas the response and recovery times without the additional carbon filter over the chip are <500 ms and <2 s, respectively. The tests have shown the reliability of the new design concerning the hotplate stability and massive encapsulation, but the high degradation rate of the catalyst coupled with its modest chemical power limits the use of the sensor only in pulsed mode of operation. The optimized pulsed mode reduces the average power consumption below 2 mW. Full article
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Article
An Enzymatic Multiplexed Impedimetric Sensor Based on α-MnO2/GQD Nano-Composite for the Detection of Diabetes and Diabetic Foot Ulcer Using Micro-Fluidic Platform
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 339; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120339 - 02 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 529
Abstract
Diabetes is widely considered as a silent killer which affects the internal organs and ultimately has drastic impacts on our day-to-day activities. One of the fatal outcomes of diabetes is diabetic foot ulcer (DFU); which, when becomes chronic, may lead to amputation. The [...] Read more.
Diabetes is widely considered as a silent killer which affects the internal organs and ultimately has drastic impacts on our day-to-day activities. One of the fatal outcomes of diabetes is diabetic foot ulcer (DFU); which, when becomes chronic, may lead to amputation. The incorporation of nanotechnology in developing bio-sensors enables the detection of desired biomarkers, which in our study are glucose and L-tyrosine; which gets elevated in patients suffering from diabetes and DFUs, respectively. Herein, we report the development of an enzymatic impedimetric sensor for the multi-detection of these biomarkers using an electrochemical paper-based analytical device (µ-EPADs). The structure consists of two working electrodes and a counter electrode. One working electrode is modified with α-MnO2-GQD/tyrosinase hybrid to aid L-tyrosine detection, while the other electrode is coated with α-MnO2-GQD/glucose oxidase hybrid for glucose monitoring. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy has been employed for the quantification of glucose and L-tyrosine, within a concentration range of 50–800 mg/dL and 1–500 µmol/L, respectively, using a sample volume of approximately 200 µL. The impedance response exhibited a linear relationship over the analyte concentration range with detection limits of ~58 mg/dL and ~0.3 µmol/L for glucose and tyrosine respectively, with shelf life ~1 month. The sensing strategy was also translated to Arduino-based device applications by interfacing the µ-EPADs with miniaturized electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Devices for Biochemical Sensing)
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Article
Preparation of a Molecularly Imprinted Film on Quartz Crystal Microbalance Chip for Determination of Furanic Compounds
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 338; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120338 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The structural preferences of furanic compounds were studied using a combination of a molecularly imprinted film (MIF) on a piezoelectric-quartz chip. The furanic compounds and their derivatives were used as the templates. Owing to their similar heterocyclic structures, it is difficult to verify [...] Read more.
The structural preferences of furanic compounds were studied using a combination of a molecularly imprinted film (MIF) on a piezoelectric-quartz chip. The furanic compounds and their derivatives were used as the templates. Owing to their similar heterocyclic structures, it is difficult to verify the structural differences between the templates. Therefore, a new cross-linker (Methacr-l-Cys-NHBn)2, was employed to generate a platform on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) chip. The cross-linker self-assembled to link the surface of the chip to copolymerize with other functional monomers. A layered film with chiral hydrophobicity and rigidity was thus fabricated. Subsequently, Acr-l-Ser-NHBn was utilized as a chiral monomer to construct MIF on a QCM chip. Forcomparison, we synthesized a more hydrophobic monomer, Methacr-l-Ser-NHBn, to enhance the binding ability of the MIF. The QCM flow injection system was handled in an organic solvent system. The proportion of the monomers was adjusted to optimize the recognition ability of these films. As the binding ability of the MIF toward model templates and structurally-related furanic compounds was improved, a MIF derived from 2-furaldehyde (FUL) achieved a lower detection limit (10 ng/mL). The binding properties of MIFs prepared against furanic compounds exhibited strong similarities to the binding properties of other compounds with heterocyclic ring structures. For example, 2-furaldehyde is very similar to 2-formylthiazole, 2-acetylfuran is similar to 2-acetylthiazole, and 2-furfuryl alcohol is similar to imidazole-2-methanol. Such recognition ability can help distinguish between the structural counterparts of other small heterocyclic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymer-Based Chemical and Biological Sensors)
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Communication
Phosphorous Determination in Biochar-Based Fertilizers by Spark Discharge-Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 337; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120337 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Biochar-based fertilizers are a new attractive alternative to P supplementation for crops, as they can gradually release the nutrient, avoiding losses and improving soil quality. In this regard, the evaluation of the P amount in biochar-based fertilizers is extremely important for their quality [...] Read more.
Biochar-based fertilizers are a new attractive alternative to P supplementation for crops, as they can gradually release the nutrient, avoiding losses and improving soil quality. In this regard, the evaluation of the P amount in biochar-based fertilizers is extremely important for their quality control. Analytical techniques that require sample solubilization are not very efficient for this task, as biochar is difficult to solubilize. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a promising technique to respond to this demand, as it enables a direct analysis of solid samples, avoiding the complicated process of sample solubilization. In this work, a novel method based on spark discharge (SD) coupled to LIBS was evaluated for P determination in biochar-based fertilizers prepared from three different biomasses. To overcome calibration problems in LIBS analysis, a matrix-matching procedure accomplished by the addition of eucalyptus biochar to calibration standards was used in experiments. This procedure minimized matrix effects and allowed us to achieve a satisfactory accuracy even when applied to similar but different matrices. Furthermore, the developed method is simple, fast, direct, does not generate post-analysis residues and appears appropriate for the quality control of sustainable biochar-based fertilizers and other biochar products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar Based Sustainable Sensing Platforms)
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Communication
Photocatalytic Properties of Silver Nanospherical Arrays Driven by Surface Plasmons
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 336; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120336 - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a promising technique to study the plasma-driven photocatalytic reactions. Hemispherical alumina nanoarrays with a regular hexagonal arrangement are firstly prepared; then, silver hemispherical nanoarrays are synthesized on the surface of the arrays by silver evaporation. When a laser [...] Read more.
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a promising technique to study the plasma-driven photocatalytic reactions. Hemispherical alumina nanoarrays with a regular hexagonal arrangement are firstly prepared; then, silver hemispherical nanoarrays are synthesized on the surface of the arrays by silver evaporation. When a laser with a specific wavelength (633 nm) is irradiated on the silver nanoarrays, a large number of regularly arranged local surface plasmon enhancement regions (called “hot spots”) would be generated on its surface. After that, a layer of evenly distributed p-aminothiophenol (PATP) probe molecules was placed on the substrate and the photocatalytic reaction of PATP was driven by the local surface plasmon to form four 4′-di-mercaptoazobenzene (DMAB). Then, under the same experimental conditions, the later product was reversely reacted to form PATP molecule by the action of plasma in the presence of in situ sodium borohydride. SERS can be used to monitor the whole process of the photocatalytic reaction of PATP probe molecules driven by the plasma on the surface of the silver nanoarrays. This research achieves the drawing and erasing of molecular graphics in the micro- and nano-scales, as well as information encryption, reading, and erasing that have strong application value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Optical Chemical Sensors)
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Article
Paper-Based Vapor Detection of Formaldehyde: Colorimetric Sensing with High Sensitivity
Chemosensors 2021, 9(12), 335; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/chemosensors9120335 - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 654
Abstract
We report on a novel colorimetric sensor system for highly sensitive detection of formaldehyde (FA) in the gas phase. The sensor is constructed with paper towel as a substrate coated with the sulfuric acid salt of hydroxylamine ((NH2OH)2·H2 [...] Read more.
We report on a novel colorimetric sensor system for highly sensitive detection of formaldehyde (FA) in the gas phase. The sensor is constructed with paper towel as a substrate coated with the sulfuric acid salt of hydroxylamine ((NH2OH)2·H2SO4) together with two pH indicators, bromophenol blue and thymol blue. Upon exposure to FA, the hydroxylamine will react with the absorbed FA to form a Schiff base (H2C=N-OH), thus releasing a stoichiometric amount of sulfuric acid, which in turn induces a color change of the pH indicator. Such a color change was significantly enriched by incorporating two pH indicators in the system. With the optimized molar ratio of the two pH indicators, the color change (from brown to yellow, and to red) could become so dramatic as to be visible to the eye depending on the concentration of FA. In particular, under 80 ppb of FA (the air quality threshold set by WHO) the color of the sensor substrate changes from brown to yellow, which can even be envisioned clearly by the naked eyes. By using a color reader, the observed color change can be measured quantitatively as a function of the vapor concentration of FA, which produces a linear relationship as fitted with the data points. This helps estimate the limit of detection (LOD), to be 10 ppb under an exposure time of 10 min, which is much lower than the air quality threshold set by WHO. The reported sensor also demonstrates high selectivity towards FA with no color change observed when exposed to other common chemicals, including solvents and volatile organic compounds. With its high sensitivity and selectivity, the proposed paper-based colorimetric sensor thus developed can potentially be employed as a low-cost and disposable detection kit that may find broad application in detecting FA in indoor air and many other environments. Full article
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