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Biosensors, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Aptamer Sensors
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/bios7010005
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
In the last years, great progress has been accomplished in the development of aptamer sensors with different transducers. In order to improve the sensitivity of these biosensors, several methodologies have been employed. In this Special Issue, the state of art and the future
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In the last years, great progress has been accomplished in the development of aptamer sensors with different transducers. In order to improve the sensitivity of these biosensors, several methodologies have been employed. In this Special Issue, the state of art and the future trends in the field of aptamer sensors have been explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer Sensors)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Biosensors in 2016
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/bios7010006
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract The editors of Biosensors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle A Strategy to Establish a Quality Assurance/Quality Control Plan for the Application of Biosensors for the Detection of E. coli in Water
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/bios7010003
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
Rapid bacterial detection using biosensors is a novel approach for microbiological testing applications. Validation of such methods is an obstacle in the adoption of new bio-sensing technologies for water testing. Therefore, establishing a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) plan is essential to
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Rapid bacterial detection using biosensors is a novel approach for microbiological testing applications. Validation of such methods is an obstacle in the adoption of new bio-sensing technologies for water testing. Therefore, establishing a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) plan is essential to demonstrate accuracy and reliability of the biosensor method for the detection of E. coli in drinking water samples. In this study, different reagents and assay conditions including temperatures, holding time, E. coli strains and concentrations, dissolving agents, salinity and pH effects, quality of substrates of various suppliers of 4-methylumbelliferyl glucuronide (MUG), and environmental water samples were included in the QA/QC plan and used in the assay optimization and documentation. Furthermore, the procedural QA/QC for the monitoring of drinking water samples was established to validate the performance of the biosensor platform for the detection of E. coli using a culture-based standard technique. Implementing the developed QA/QC plan, the same level of precision and accuracy was achieved using both the standard and the biosensor methods. The established procedural QA/QC for the biosensor will provide a reliable tool for a near real-time monitoring of E. coli in drinking water samples to both industry and regulatory authorities. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Versatile Flexible Graphene Multielectrode Arrays
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/bios7010001
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2037 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Graphene is a promising material possessing features relevant to bioelectronics applications. Graphene microelectrodes (GMEAs), which are fabricated in a dense array on a flexible polyimide substrate, were investigated in this work for their performance via electrical impedance spectroscopy. Biocompatibility and suitability of the
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Graphene is a promising material possessing features relevant to bioelectronics applications. Graphene microelectrodes (GMEAs), which are fabricated in a dense array on a flexible polyimide substrate, were investigated in this work for their performance via electrical impedance spectroscopy. Biocompatibility and suitability of the GMEAs for extracellular recordings were tested by measuring electrical activities from acute heart tissue and cardiac muscle cells. The recordings show encouraging signal-to-noise ratios of 65 ± 15 for heart tissue recordings and 20 ± 10 for HL-1 cells. Considering the low noise and excellent robustness of the devices, the sensor arrays are suitable for diverse and biologically relevant applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Two-Dimensional Layered Biosensors: Versatile Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle Alternating Current-Dielectrophoresis Collection and Chaining of Phytoplankton on Chip: Comparison of Individual Species and Artificial Communities
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/bios7010004
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The capability of alternating current (AC) dielectrophoresis (DEP) for on-chip capture and chaining of the three species representative of freshwater phytoplankton was evaluated. The effects of the AC field intensity, frequency and duration on the chaining efficiency and chain lengths of green alga
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The capability of alternating current (AC) dielectrophoresis (DEP) for on-chip capture and chaining of the three species representative of freshwater phytoplankton was evaluated. The effects of the AC field intensity, frequency and duration on the chaining efficiency and chain lengths of green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. and diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana were characterized systematically. C. reinhardtii showed an increase of the chaining efficiency from 100 Hz to 500 kHz at all field intensities; C. meneghiniana presented a decrease of chaining efficiency from 100 Hz to 1 kHz followed by a significant increase from 1 kHz to 500 kHz, while Synechocystis sp. exhibited low chaining tendency at all frequencies and all field intensities. The experimentally-determined DEP response and cell alignment of each microorganism were in agreement with their effective polarizability. Mixtures of cells in equal proportion or 10-times excess of Synechocystis sp. showed important differences in terms of chaining efficiency and length of the chains compared with the results obtained when the cells were alone in suspension. While a constant degree of chaining was observed with the mixture of C. reinhardtii and C. meneghiniana, the presence of Synechocystis sp. in each mixture suppressed the formation of chains for the two other phytoplankton species. All of these results prove the potential of DEP to discriminate different phytoplankton species depending on their effective polarizability and to enable their manipulation, such as specific collection or separation in freshwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Lab-on-Chip Devices)
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Open AccessArticle A Single-Use, In Vitro Biosensor for the Detection of T-Tau Protein, A Biomarker of Neuro-Degenerative Disorders, in PBS and Human Serum Using Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV)
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/bios7010010
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A single-use, in vitro biosensor for the detection of T-Tau protein in phosphate-buffer saline (PBS) and undiluted human serum was designed, manufactured, and tested. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) served as the transduction mechanism. This biosensor consisted of three electrodes: working, counter, and reference
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A single-use, in vitro biosensor for the detection of T-Tau protein in phosphate-buffer saline (PBS) and undiluted human serum was designed, manufactured, and tested. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) served as the transduction mechanism. This biosensor consisted of three electrodes: working, counter, and reference electrodes fabricated on a PET sheet. Both working and counter electrodes were thin gold film, 10 nm in thickness. Laser ablation technique was used to define the size and structure of the biosensor. The biosensor was produced using cost-effective roll-to-roll process. Self-assembled monolayers (SAM) of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) were employed to covalently immobilize the anti-T-Tau (T-Tau antibody) on the gold working electrode. A carbodiimide conjugation approach using N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N’-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) and N–hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) cross-linked anti-T-Tau to the carboxylic groups on one end of the MPA. A T-Tau protein ladder with six isoforms was used in this study. The anti-T-Tau concentration used was 500,000 pg/mL. The T-Tau protein concentration ranged from 1000 pg/mL to 100,000 pg/mL. DPV measurements showed excellent responses, with a good calibration curve. Thus, a practical tool for simple detection of T-Tau protein, a biomarker of neuro-degenerative disorders, has been successfully developed. This tool could also be extended to detect other biomarkers for neuro-degenerative disorders, such as P-Tau protein and β-amyloid 42. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for the Detection of Biomarkers)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Development of Non-Contact Bio-Potential Electrodes for Pervasive Health Monitoring Applications
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/bios7010002
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
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Abstract
For the advent of pervasive bio-potential monitoring, it will be necessary to utilize a combination of cheap, quick to apply, low-noise electrodes and compact electronics with wireless technologies. Once available, all electrical activity resulting from the processes of the human body could be
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For the advent of pervasive bio-potential monitoring, it will be necessary to utilize a combination of cheap, quick to apply, low-noise electrodes and compact electronics with wireless technologies. Once available, all electrical activity resulting from the processes of the human body could be actively and constantly monitored without the need for cumbersome application and maintenance. This could significantly improve the early diagnosis of a range of different conditions in high-risk individuals, opening the possibility for new treatments and interventions as conditions develop. This paper presents the design and implementation of compact, non-contact capacitive bio-potential electrodes utilising a low impedance current-to-voltage configuration and a bootstrapped voltage follower, demonstrating results applicable to research applications for capacitive electrocardiography and capacitive electromyography. The presented electrodes use few components, have a small surface area and are capable of acquiring a range of bio-potential signals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Wearable Biosensors)
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Open AccessCommunication Composite Hydrogels with Engineered Microdomains for Optical Glucose Sensing at Low Oxygen Conditions
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 8; doi:10.3390/bios7010008
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 14 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
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Abstract
There is a growing need for advanced tools that enable frequent monitoring of biomarkers for precision medicine. In this work, we present a composite hydrogel-based system providing real-time optical bioanalyte monitoring. The responsive material, alginate-in-alginate (AnA), is comprised of an alginate hydrogel with
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There is a growing need for advanced tools that enable frequent monitoring of biomarkers for precision medicine. In this work, we present a composite hydrogel-based system providing real-time optical bioanalyte monitoring. The responsive material, alginate-in-alginate (AnA), is comprised of an alginate hydrogel with embedded bioactive, nanofilm-coated phosphorescent microdomains; palladium tetracarboxyphenylporphyrin serves as an optical indicator, glucose oxidase as a model enzyme, and layer-by-layer deposited polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) as the diffusion barrier. Glutaraldehyde crosslinking of the nanofilms resulted in a dramatic reduction in glucose diffusion (179%) while oxygen transport was not significantly affected. The responses of the AnA hydrogels to step changes of glucose at both ambient and physiological oxygen levels were evaluated, revealing controlled tuning of sensitivity and dynamic range. Stability, assessed by alternately exposing the responsive AnA hydrogels to extremely high and zero glucose concentrations, resulted in no significant difference in the response over 20 cycles. These AnA hydrogels represent an attractive approach to biosensing based on biocompatible materials that may be used as minimally-invasive, implantable devices capable of optical interrogation. The model glucose-responsive composite material studied in this work will serve as a template that can be translated for sensing additional analytes (e.g., lactate, urea, pyruvate, cholesterol) and can be used for monitoring other chronic conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High Bacterial Agglutination Activity in a Single-CRD C-Type Lectin from Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 12; doi:10.3390/bios7010012
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 26 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Lectins are carbohydrate-interacting proteins that play a pivotal role in multiple physiological and developmental aspects of all organisms. They can specifically interact with different bacterial and viral pathogens through carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRD). In addition, lectins are also of biotechnological interest because of their
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Lectins are carbohydrate-interacting proteins that play a pivotal role in multiple physiological and developmental aspects of all organisms. They can specifically interact with different bacterial and viral pathogens through carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRD). In addition, lectins are also of biotechnological interest because of their potential use as biosensors for capturing and identifying bacterial species. In this work, three C-type lectins from the Lepidoptera Spodoptera exigua were produced as recombinant proteins and their bacterial agglutination properties were characterized. The lowest protein concentration producing bacterial agglutination against a panel of different Gram+ and Gram− as well as their carbohydrate binding specificities was determined for the three lectins. One of these lectins, BLL2, was able to agglutinate cells from a broad range of bacterial species at an extremely low concentration, becoming a very interesting protein to be used as a biosensor or for other biotechnological applications involving bacterial capture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems for the Early Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria)
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Open AccessArticle A Urea Potentiometric Biosensor Based on a Thiophene Copolymer
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 13; doi:10.3390/bios7010013
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
A potentiometric enzyme biosensor is a convenient detector for quantification of urea concentrations in industrial processes, or for monitoring patients with diabetes, kidney damage or liver malfunction. In this work, poly(3-hexylthiophene-co-3-thiopheneacetic acid) (P(3HT-co-3TAA)) was chemically synthesized, characterized and spin-coated
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A potentiometric enzyme biosensor is a convenient detector for quantification of urea concentrations in industrial processes, or for monitoring patients with diabetes, kidney damage or liver malfunction. In this work, poly(3-hexylthiophene-co-3-thiopheneacetic acid) (P(3HT-co-3TAA)) was chemically synthesized, characterized and spin-coated onto conductive indium tin oxide (ITO) glass electrodes. Urease (Urs) was covalently attached to the smooth surface of this copolymer via carbodiimide coupling. The electrochemical behavior and stability of the modified Urs/P(3HT-co-3TAA)/ITO glass electrode were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, and the bound enzyme activity was confirmed by spectrophotometry. Potentiometric response studies indicated that this electrode could determine the concentration of urea in aqueous solutions, with a quasi-Nernstian response up to about 5 mM. No attempt was made to optimize the response speed; full equilibration occurred after 10 min, but the half-time for response was typically <1 min. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Simple Metallothionein-Based Biosensor for Enhanced Detection of Arsenic and Mercury
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/bios7010014
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of cysteine-rich proteins whose biological roles include the regulation of essential metal ions and protection against the harmful effects of toxic metals. Due to its high affinity for many toxic, soft metals, recombinant human MT isoform 1a was
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Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of cysteine-rich proteins whose biological roles include the regulation of essential metal ions and protection against the harmful effects of toxic metals. Due to its high affinity for many toxic, soft metals, recombinant human MT isoform 1a was incorporated into an electrochemical-based biosensor for the detection of As3+ and Hg2+. A simple design was chosen to maximize its potential in environmental monitoring and MT was physically adsorbed onto paper discs placed on screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). This system was tested with concentrations of arsenic and mercury typical of contaminated water sources ranging from 5 to 1000 ppb. The analytical performance of the MT-adsorbed paper discs on SPCEs demonstrated a greater than three-fold signal enhancement and a lower detection limit compared to blank SPCEs, 13 ppb for As3+ and 45 ppb for Hg2+. While not being as low as some of the recommended drinking water limits, the sensitivity of the simple MT-biosensor would be potentially useful in monitoring of areas of concern with a known contamination problem. This paper describes the ability of the metal binding protein metallothionein to enhance the effectiveness of a simple, low-cost electrochemical sensor. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering-Based Immunoassay Technologies for Detection of Disease Biomarkers
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/bios7010007
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 2 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Detection of biomarkers is of vital importance in disease detection, management, and monitoring of therapeutic efficacy. Extensive efforts have been devoted to the development of novel diagnostic methods that detect and quantify biomarkers with higher sensitivity and reliability, contributing to better disease diagnosis
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Detection of biomarkers is of vital importance in disease detection, management, and monitoring of therapeutic efficacy. Extensive efforts have been devoted to the development of novel diagnostic methods that detect and quantify biomarkers with higher sensitivity and reliability, contributing to better disease diagnosis and prognosis. When it comes to such devastating diseases as cancer, these novel powerful methods allow for disease staging as well as detection of cancer at very early stages. Over the past decade, there have been some advances in the development of platforms for biomarker detection of diseases. The main focus has recently shifted to the development of simple and reliable diagnostic tests that are inexpensive, accurate, and can follow a patient’s disease progression and therapy response. The individualized approach in biomarker detection has been also emphasized with detection of multiple biomarkers in body fluids such as blood and urine. This review article covers the developments in Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) and related technologies with the primary focus on immunoassays. Limitations and advantages of the SERS-based immunoassay platform are discussed. The article thoroughly describes all components of the SERS immunoassay and highlights the superior capabilities of SERS readout strategy such as high sensitivity and simultaneous detection of a multitude of biomarkers. Finally, it introduces recently developed strategies for in vivo biomarker detection using SERS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raman and IR Spectroscopic Sensing)
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Open AccessReview Carbon Nanotubes as an Effective Opportunity for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/bios7010009
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
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Abstract
Despite the current progresses of modern medicine, the resistance of malignant tumors to present medical treatments points to the necessity of developing new therapeutic approaches. In recent years, numerous studies have focused their attention on the promising use of nanomaterials, like iron oxide
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Despite the current progresses of modern medicine, the resistance of malignant tumors to present medical treatments points to the necessity of developing new therapeutic approaches. In recent years, numerous studies have focused their attention on the promising use of nanomaterials, like iron oxide nanowires, zinc oxide or mesoporous silica nanoparticles, for cancer and metastasis treatment with the advantage of operating directly at the bio-molecular scale. Among them, carbon nanotubes emerged as valid candidates not only for drug delivery, but also as a valuable tool in cancer imaging and physical ablation. Nevertheless, deep investigations about carbon nanotubes’ potential bio-compatibility and cytotoxicity limits should be also critically addressed. In the present review, after introducing carbon nanotubes and their promising advantages and drawbacks for fighting cancer, we want to focus on the numerous and different ways in which they can assist to reach this goal. Specifically, we report on how they can be used not only for drug delivery purposes, but also as a powerful ally to develop effective contrast agents for tumors’ medical or photodynamic imaging, to perform direct physical ablation of metastasis, as well as gene therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview State-of-the-Art Methods for Skeletal Muscle Glycogen Analysis in Athletes—The Need for Novel Non-Invasive Techniques
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 11; doi:10.3390/bios7010011
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 19 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Muscle glycogen levels have a profound impact on an athlete’s sporting performance, thus measurement is vital. Carbohydrate manipulation is a fundamental component in an athlete’s lifestyle and is a critical part of elite performance, since it can provide necessary training adaptations. This paper
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Muscle glycogen levels have a profound impact on an athlete’s sporting performance, thus measurement is vital. Carbohydrate manipulation is a fundamental component in an athlete’s lifestyle and is a critical part of elite performance, since it can provide necessary training adaptations. This paper provides a critical review of the current invasive and non-invasive methods for measuring skeletal muscle glycogen levels. These include the gold standard muscle biopsy, histochemical analysis, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and musculoskeletal high frequency ultrasound, as well as pursuing future application of electromagnetic sensors in the pursuit of portable non-invasive quantification of muscle glycogen. This paper will be of interest to researchers who wish to understand the current and most appropriate techniques in measuring skeletal muscle glycogen. This will have applications both in the lab and in the field by improving the accuracy of research protocols and following the physiological adaptations to exercise. Full article
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