Special Issue "New Biosensors and Nanosensors"

A special issue of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374). This special issue belongs to the section "Nano- and Micro-Technologies in Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2023 | Viewed by 11710

Special Issue Editors

“Theory of Mechanisms and Robots” Department, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Robotics, Bucharest Polytechnic University, 060042 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: aircraft; aerospace; energy; physics; nuclear physics; nuclear energy; nuclear power; quantum physics; industrial design; mechanical design; engines design; mechanical transmissions; dynamics; vibrations; mechanisms; machines; robots
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Biotechnology Colloids, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
Interests: photoelectric energy materials and sensing materials; solar-thermal conversion; bio-inspired interface assembly of materials; extraction and application of natural polymer
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Any developments or updates related to biosensors are welcome for publication in our Special Issue, whether in the form of research article, review, or scientific communication. Below are just a few examples of recent developments in the field of biosensors. Rapid antigen tests can quickly and conveniently tell a person that they are positive for COVID-19, though antibody-based tests are not very sensitive. The first molecular electronics chip has been developed, representing the realization of a 50-year-old goal of integrating single molecules into circuits to reach the ultimate scaling limits of Moore’s law. Developed by Roswell Biotechnologies and a multidisciplinary team of leading academic scientists, the chip uses single molecules as universal sensor elements in a circuit to create a programmable biosensor with real-time, single-molecule sensitivity and unlimited scalability in sensor pixel density. This innovation, appearing this week in a peer-reviewed article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), will power advances in diverse fields that are fundamentally based on observing molecular interactions, including drug discovery, diagnostics, DNA sequencing, and proteomics. “Biology works by single molecules talking to each other, but our existing measurement methods cannot detect this,” stated co-author Jim Tour, Ph.D., a Rice University chemistry professor and a pioneer in the field of molecular electronics. “The sensors demonstrated in this paper for the first time let us listen in on these molecular communications, enabling a new and powerful view of biological information.” Scientists discovered nuclear magnetic resonance, a physical phenomenon where nuclei absorb and re-emit energy when placed in a magnetic field, in 1938. However, it took almost 30 years for this fundamental discovery in physics to find its most widely known application: MRI imaging, a crucial diagnostic tool in medical and biological research.

Now in the 21st century, researchers can make quantum devices precise enough to sense single ions—and University of Chicago chemistry professor Greg Engel does not want to wait 30 years to find their most useful applications. “It’s rapidly becoming clear that quantum sensing could be transformative in the next phases of biology research,” Engel says. The advantage of superposition: Quantum technology takes advantage of scientific phenomena that are only accessible on the smallest of scales, such as the concept of superposition—where a system exists in a combination of possible states rather than in a single state. This unique characteristic of quantum systems is quite fragile—when a quantum system in superposition interacts with its environment in any way, its superposition “collapses”, and it exists in one state instead of many. This incredible fragility is what makes quantum communication and computing technologies so difficult to implement. Keeping something as tiny as an atom isolated enough to exist in superposition takes a lot of energy, funding, and logistics.
Quantum sensing, however, takes that fragility and turns it into an advantage. If the superposition of a system can be disturbed by a single molecule, atom, or even photon, that system can be turned into a sensor to monitor these individual particles. Many important phenomena in biology originate from single atoms, such as the motion of an individual ion or a small change in the electric charge of a protein. These processes, however, are currently incredibly difficult or even impossible to measure. Quantum biosensing offers a way to investigate these biological events with unprecedented sensitivity. “With the convergence between the sensitivity that is possible with quantum measurement, and the absolute need in biology to understand things on exactly these scales: it’s just a match made in heaven,” says Engel, who is also the director of the new $25 million Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Quantum Sensing for Biophysics and Bioengineering (QuBBE). The potential applications of quantum biosensing range from tracking a drug through the membrane and across the cytoplasm of a single cell, to precise demarcation of tumor margins during surgery. Noninvasive glucose monitoring devices are not currently commercially available in the United States, so people with diabetes must collect blood samples or use sensors embedded under the skin to measure their blood sugar levels. Now, with a new wearable device created by Penn State researchers, less intrusive glucose monitoring could become the norm. Led by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in Penn State’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, the researchers published the details of the noninvasive, low-cost sensor that can detect glucose in sweat in Biosensors and Bioelectronics. The paper, available online, will be published in the journal’s December print issue. The researchers constructed the device first with laser-induced graphene (LIG), a material consisting of atom-thick carbon layers in various shapes. With high electrical conductivity and a convenient fabrication time of just seconds, LIG appears to be an ideal framework for sensing devices—but with a significant caveat. “The challenge here is that LIG is not sensitive to glucose at all,” Cheng said. “So, we needed to deposit a glucose-sensitive material onto the LIG.” The team chose nickel because of its robust glucose sensitivity, according to Cheng, and combined it with gold to lower the potential risks of an allergic reaction. The researchers hypothesized that the LIG outfitted with the nickel–gold alloy would be able to detect low concentrations of glucose in sweat on the skin’s surface.

Prof. Dr. Florian Ion Tiberiu Petrescu
Dr. Gang Shi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • construction of carbon dots
  • fluorescence detection of metal ions
  • bionic compound eye structure based on double sphere self-assembly technology
  • Ag/ZnO/Si substrates with bionic “flower” nanorod structures
  • nanozymes with multiple activities
  • portable biosensors based on Au a nanoflower interface combined with electrochemical immunochromatography
  • two-dimensional quantum dot-based electrochemical biosensors

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
PtNPs/PEDOT:PSS-Modified Microelectrode Arrays for Detection of the Discharge of Head Direction Cells in the Retrosplenial Cortex of Rats under Dissociation between Visual and Vestibular Inputs
Biosensors 2023, 13(5), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13050496 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 500
Abstract
The electrophysiological activities of head direction (HD) cells under visual and vestibular input dissociation are important to understanding the formation of the sense of direction in animals. In this paper, we fabricated a PtNPs/PEDOT:PSS-modified MEA to detect changes in the discharge of HD [...] Read more.
The electrophysiological activities of head direction (HD) cells under visual and vestibular input dissociation are important to understanding the formation of the sense of direction in animals. In this paper, we fabricated a PtNPs/PEDOT:PSS-modified MEA to detect changes in the discharge of HD cells under dissociated sensory conditions. The electrode shape was customized for the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) and was conducive to the sequential detection of neurons at different depths in vivo when combined with a microdriver. The recording sites of the electrode were modified with PtNPs/PEDOT:PSS to form a three-dimensional convex structure, leading to closer contact with neurons and improving the detection performance and signal-to-noise ratio of the MEA. We designed a rotating cylindrical arena to separate the visual and vestibular information of the rats and detected the changes in the directional tuning of the HD cells in the RSC. The results showed that after visual and vestibular sensory dissociation, HD cells used visual information to establish newly discharged directions which differed from the original direction. However, with the longer time required to process inconsistent sensory information, the function of the HD system gradually degraded. After recovery, the HD cells reverted to their newly established direction rather than the original direction. The research based on our MEAs revealed how HD cells process dissociated sensory information and contributes to the study of the spatial cognitive navigation mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
A Direct Catalytic Ethanol Fuel Cell (DCEFC) Modified by LDHs, or by Catalase-LDHs, and Improvement in Its Kinetic Performance: Applications for Human Saliva and Disinfectant Products for COVID-19
Biosensors 2023, 13(4), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13040441 - 30 Mar 2023
Viewed by 689
Abstract
In this work, it has been experimentally proven that the kinetic performance of a common Direct Catalytic Ethanol Fuel Cell (DCEFC) can be increased by introducing nanostructured (ZnII,AlIII(OH)2)+NO3·H2O Layered Double [...] Read more.
In this work, it has been experimentally proven that the kinetic performance of a common Direct Catalytic Ethanol Fuel Cell (DCEFC) can be increased by introducing nanostructured (ZnII,AlIII(OH)2)+NO3·H2O Layered Double Hydroxides (LDHs) into the anode compartment. Carrying out the measurements with the open-circuit voltage method and using a kinetic format, it has been shown that the introduction of LDHs in the anodic compartment implies a 1.3-fold increase in the calibration sensitivity of the method. This improvement becomes even greater in the presence of hydrogen peroxide in a solution. Furthermore, we show that the calibration sensitivity increased by 8-times, when the fuel cell is modified by the enzyme catalase, crosslinked on LDHs and in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The fuel cell, thus modified (with or without enzyme), has been used for analytical applications on real samples, such as biological (human saliva) and hand disinfectant samples, commonly used for the prevention of COVID-19, obtaining very positive results from both analytical and kinetic points of view on ethanol detection. Moreover, if the increase in the calibration sensitivity is of great importance from the point of view of analytical applications, it must be remarked that the increase in the speed of the ethanol oxidation process in the fuel cell can also be extremely useful for the purposes of improving the energy performance of a DCEFC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
Electrochemical Sensing of Gallic Acid in Beverages Using a 3D Bio-Nanocomposite Based on Carbon Nanotubes/Spongin-Atacamite
Biosensors 2023, 13(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13020262 - 13 Feb 2023
Viewed by 900
Abstract
Gallic acid (GA) is one of the most important polyphenols, being widely used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries due to its biological effects such as antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. Hence, simple, fast, and sensitive determination of GA [...] Read more.
Gallic acid (GA) is one of the most important polyphenols, being widely used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries due to its biological effects such as antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. Hence, simple, fast, and sensitive determination of GA is of particular importance. Considering the fact that GA is an electroactive compound, electrochemical sensors offer great potential for GA quantitation due to their fast response time, high sensitivity, and ease of use. A simple, fast, and sensitive GA sensor was fabricated on the basis of a high-performance bio-nanocomposite using spongin as a natural 3D polymer, atacamite, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The developed sensor showed an excellent response toward GA oxidation with remarkable electrochemical features due to the synergistic effects of 3D porous spongin and MWCNTs, which provide a large surface area and enhance the electrocatalytic activity of atacamite. At optimal conditions by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV), a good linear relationship was obtained between peak currents and GA concentrations in a wild linear range of 500 nM to 1 mM. Subsequently, the proposed sensor was used to detect GA in red wine as well as in green and black tea, confirming its great potential as a reliable alternative to conventional methods for GA determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
Salivary Glucose Detection with Laser Induced Graphene/AgNPs Non-Enzymatic Sensor
Biosensors 2023, 13(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13020207 - 30 Jan 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
The tailoring of novel nanomaterials for sensitive glucose detection through a non-enzymatic mechanism is currently under intensive research. Here, we present a laser-induced graphene (LIG) electrode decorated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as a catalytic element for the direct electrooxidation of glucose. The AgNPs [...] Read more.
The tailoring of novel nanomaterials for sensitive glucose detection through a non-enzymatic mechanism is currently under intensive research. Here, we present a laser-induced graphene (LIG) electrode decorated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as a catalytic element for the direct electrooxidation of glucose. The AgNPs were synthesized through cyclic voltammetry using LIG as a template, resulting in a porous tridimensional assembly with anchored nanostructures. The characterization corroborated the formation of LIG/AgNPs composite with distinctive peaks attributed to Ag2O and AgO interaction with glucose. The proposed non-enzymatic sensors were successfully applied for non-enzymatic amperometric detection, exhibiting a linear range from 1 to 10 mM in the first peak (+0.7 V) and a narrow range from 1 to 2 mM with higher sensitivity of 52.2 mA/mM and improved LOD of 45 μM in the second peak (+0.55 V). The applicability of the LIG/AgNPs sensor was evaluated with spiked artificial saliva in a PoC format using a smartphone potentiostat, showing an average recovery rate of 91%. The analysis was performed in a portable, mobile, and low-cost fashion using a simulated non-invasive sample, with promising results in clinical ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
A Fluorescent Biosensor for Streptavidin Detection Based on Double-Hairpin DNA-Templated Copper Nanoparticles
Biosensors 2023, 13(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13020168 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 707
Abstract
In this paper, we developed a sensitive, label-free and facile fluorescent strategy for detecting streptavidin (SA) based on double-hairpin DNA-templated copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) and terminal protection of small molecule-linked DNA. Herein, a special DNA hairpin probe was designed and synthesized, which contained two [...] Read more.
In this paper, we developed a sensitive, label-free and facile fluorescent strategy for detecting streptavidin (SA) based on double-hairpin DNA-templated copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) and terminal protection of small molecule-linked DNA. Herein, a special DNA hairpin probe was designed and synthesized, which contained two poly T single-stranded loops and a nick point in the middle of the stem. Inspired by the concept of the terminal protection interaction, the specific binding of SA to the biotinylated DNA probe can prevent the exonuclease degradation and keep the integrity of DNA probe, which can be used for synthesizing fluorescent CuNPs as a template. Conversely, the DNA probe would be digested by exonucleases and therefore, would fail to form CuNPs without SA. After systematic optimization, the detection range of SA concentration is from 0.5 to 150 nM with a low detection limit of 0.09 nM. Additionally, the proposed method was also successfully applied in the biological samples. Finally, the proposed method is sensitive, effective and simple, and can be potentially applied for predicting diseases and discovering new drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
NIR Luminescent Oxygen-Sensing Nanoparticles for Continuous Glucose and Lactate Monitoring
Biosensors 2023, 13(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13010141 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
A highly sensitive, biocompatible, and scalable phosphorescent oxygen sensor formulation is designed and evaluated for use in continuous metabolite sensors for biological systems. Ethyl cellulose (EC) and polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles (NPs) stabilized with Pluronic F68 (PF 68), Polydimethylsiloxane-b-polyethyleneglycol methyl ether (PDMS-PEG), [...] Read more.
A highly sensitive, biocompatible, and scalable phosphorescent oxygen sensor formulation is designed and evaluated for use in continuous metabolite sensors for biological systems. Ethyl cellulose (EC) and polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles (NPs) stabilized with Pluronic F68 (PF 68), Polydimethylsiloxane-b-polyethyleneglycol methyl ether (PDMS-PEG), sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS), and cetyltimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were prepared and studied. The resulting NPs with eight different surfactant–polymer matrix combinations were evaluated for physical properties, oxygen sensitivity, effect of changes in dispersion matrix, and cytotoxicity. The EC NPs exhibited a narrower size distribution and 40% higher sensitivity than PS, with Stern–Volmer constants (Ksv) 0.041–0.052 µM−1 for EC, compared to 0.029–0.034 µM−1 for PS. Notably, ethyl cellulose NPs protected with PF68 were selected as the preferred formulation, as they were not cytotoxic towards 3T3 fibroblasts and exhibited a wide phosphorescence lifetime response of >211.1 µs over 258–0 µM and ~100 µs over 2.58–0 µM oxygen, with a limit of detection (LoD) of oxygen in aqueous phase of 0.0016 µM. The EC-PF68 NPs were then efficiently encapsulated in alginate microparticles along with glucose oxidase (GOx) and catalase (CAT) to form phosphorescent nanoparticles-in-microparticle (NIMs) glucose sensing microdomains. The fabricated glucose sensors showed a sensitivity of 0.40 µs dL mg−1 with a dynamic phosphorescence lifetime range of 46.6–197.1 µs over 0–150 mg dL−1 glucose, with a glucose LoD of 18.3 mg dL−1 and maximum distinguishable concentration of 111.1 mg dL−1. Similarly, lactate sensors were prepared with NIMs microdomains containing lactate oxidase (LOx) and found to have a detection range of 0–14 mg dL−1 with LoD of 1.8 mg dL−1 and maximum concentration of 13.7 mg dL−1 with lactate sensitivity of 10.7 µs dL mg−1. Owing to its versatility, the proposed NIMs-based design can be extended to a wide range of metabolites and different oxygen-sensing dyes with different excitation wavelengths based on specific application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Article
Strongly Improving the Sensitivity of Phosphorescence-Based Optical Oxygen Sensors by Exploiting Nano-Porous Substrates
Biosensors 2022, 12(10), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12100774 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Sensitivity is one of the crucial factors in determining the quality of a fluorescence/phosphorescence-based gas sensor, and is estimated from the measurement of responses (I0/I, where I0 and I refer to the measured optical intensity of a sensor in absence [...] Read more.
Sensitivity is one of the crucial factors in determining the quality of a fluorescence/phosphorescence-based gas sensor, and is estimated from the measurement of responses (I0/I, where I0 and I refer to the measured optical intensity of a sensor in absence and presence of analyte molecules) at various concentrations of analytes. In this work, we demonstrate phosphorescence-based optical oxygen sensors fabricated on highly porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes showing dramatically high response. These sensors exploit the enormous surface area of the AAO to facilitate the effective interaction between the sensing molecules and the analytes. We spin-coat an AAO membrane (200 nm pore diameter) with a platinum-based oxygen sensing porphyrin dye, platinum(II) meso-tetrakis (pentafluorophenyl) porphyrin (PtTFPP), to fabricate a sensor exhibiting I0/I ~400 at 100% oxygen atmosphere. To address the generality of the AAO membrane, we fabricate a separate sensor with another porphyrin dye, platinum octaethylporphyrin (PtOEP), which exhibits an even higher I0/I of ~500. Both of these sensors offer the highest responses as an optical oxygen sensor hitherto reported. SEM and EDS analysis are performed to realize the effect of the increased surface area of the AAO membrane on the enhanced sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Review

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Review
Current Advances in Nanotechnology for the Next Generation of Sequencing (NGS)
Biosensors 2023, 13(2), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13020260 - 12 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1645
Abstract
This communication aims at discussing strategies based on developments from nanotechnology focused on the next generation of sequencing (NGS). In this regard, it should be noted that even in the advanced current situation of many techniques and methods accompanied with developments of technology, [...] Read more.
This communication aims at discussing strategies based on developments from nanotechnology focused on the next generation of sequencing (NGS). In this regard, it should be noted that even in the advanced current situation of many techniques and methods accompanied with developments of technology, there are still existing challenges and needs focused on real samples and low concentrations of genomic materials. The approaches discussed/described adopt spectroscopical techniques and new optical setups. PCR bases are introduced to understand the role of non-covalent interactions by discussing about Nobel prizes related to genomic material detection. The review also discusses colorimetric methods, polymeric transducers, fluorescence detection methods, enhanced plasmonic techniques such as metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF), semiconductors, and developments in metamaterials. In addition, nano-optics, challenges linked to signal transductions, and how the limitations reported in each technique could be overcome are considered in real samples. Accordingly, this study shows developments where optical active nanoplatforms generate signal detection and transduction with enhanced performances and, in many cases, enhanced signaling from single double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) interactions. Future perspectives on miniaturized instrumentation, chips, and devices aimed at detecting genomic material are analyzed. However, the main concept in this report derives from gained insights into nanochemistry and nano-optics. Such concepts could be incorporated into other higher-sized substrates and experimental and optical setups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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Review
Application of VCSEL in Bio-Sensing Atomic Magnetometers
Biosensors 2022, 12(12), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12121098 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
Recent years have seen rapid development of chip-scale atomic devices due to their great potential in the field of biomedical imaging, namely chip-scale atomic magnetometers that enable high resolution magnetocardiography (MCG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). For atomic devices of this kind, vertical cavity surface [...] Read more.
Recent years have seen rapid development of chip-scale atomic devices due to their great potential in the field of biomedical imaging, namely chip-scale atomic magnetometers that enable high resolution magnetocardiography (MCG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). For atomic devices of this kind, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) have become the most crucial components as integrated pumping sources, which are attracting growing interest. In this paper, the application of VCSELs in chip-scale atomic devices are reviewed, where VCSELs are integrated in various atomic bio-sensing devices with different operating environments. Secondly, the mode and polarization control of VCSELs in the specific applications are reviewed with their pros and cons discussed. In addition, various packaging of VCSEL based on different atomic devices in pursuit of miniaturization and precision measurement are reviewed and discussed. Finally, the VCSEL-based chip-scale atomic magnetometers utilized for cardiac and brain magnetometry are reviewed in detail. Nowadays, biosensors with chip integration, low power consumption, and high sensitivity are undergoing rapid industrialization, due to the growing market of medical instrumentation and portable health monitoring. It is promising that VCSEL-integrated chip-scale atomic biosensors as featured applications of this kind may experience extensive development in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biosensors and Nanosensors)
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