Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4277-4294; doi:10.3390/s110404277
Review

Biological Sensors for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation

1 Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-000, Brazil 2 Faculty of Engineering, Takushoku University, Tokyo 193-0985, Japan 3 Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2011; in revised form: 2 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 April 2011 / Published: 12 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Abstract: Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is widely known as a genotoxic environmental agent that affects Earth ecosystems and the human population. As a primary consequence of the stratospheric ozone layer depletion observed over the last decades, the increasing UV incidence levels have heightened the concern regarding deleterious consequences affecting both the biosphere and humans, thereby leading to an increase in scientific efforts to understand the role of sunlight in the induction of DNA damage, mutagenesis, and cell death. In fact, the various UV-wavelengths evoke characteristic biological impacts that greatly depend on light absorption of biomolecules, especially DNA, in living organisms, thereby justifying the increasing importance of developing biological sensors for monitoring the harmful impact of solar UV radiation under various environmental conditions. In this review, several types of biosensors proposed for laboratory and field application, that measure the biological effects of the UV component of sunlight, are described. Basically, the applicability of sensors based on DNA, bacteria or even mammalian cells are presented and compared. Data are also presented showing that on using DNA-based sensors, the various types of damage produced differ when this molecule is exposed in either an aqueous buffer or a dry solution. Apart from the data thus generated, the development of novel biosensors could help in evaluating the biological effects of sunlight on the environment. They also emerge as alternative tools for using live animals in the search for protective sunscreen products.
Keywords: sunlight; UV radiation; biosensors; biological dosimetry; DNA damage

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yagura, T.; Makita, K.; Yamamoto, H.; Menck, C.F.; Schuch, A.P. Biological Sensors for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation. Sensors 2011, 11, 4277-4294.

AMA Style

Yagura T, Makita K, Yamamoto H, Menck CF, Schuch AP. Biological Sensors for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation. Sensors. 2011; 11(4):4277-4294.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yagura, Teiti; Makita, Kazuo; Yamamoto, Hiromasa; Menck, Carlos F.M.; Schuch, André P. 2011. "Biological Sensors for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation." Sensors 11, no. 4: 4277-4294.

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