Biosensors2014, 4(3), 204-220; doi:10.3390/bios4030204 - published online 8 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We describe the detection characteristics of a device the Resonant Coil Magnetometer (RCM) to quantify paramagnetic particles (PMPs) in immunochromatographic (lateral flow) assays. Lateral flow assays were developed using PMPs for the measurement of total prostate specific antigen (PSA) in serum samples. A detection limit of 0.8 ng/mL was achieved for total PSA using the RCM and is at clinically significant concentrations. Comparison of data obtained in a pilot study from the analysis of serum samples with commercially available immunoassays shows good agreement. The development of a quantitative magneto-immunoassay in lateral flow format for total PSA suggests the potential of the RCM to operate with many immunoassay formats. The RCM has the potential to be modified to quantify multiple analytes in this format. This research shows promise for the development of an inexpensive device capable of quantifying multiple analytes at the point-of-care using a magneto-immunoassay in lateral flow format.
Biosensors2014, 4(3), 189-203; doi:10.3390/bios4030189 - published online 4 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a study of FeNi-based thin film materials deposited with Mo, Al and B using a co-sputtering process. The existence of soft magnetic properties in combination with strong magneto-mechanical coupling makes these materials attractive for sensor applications. Our findings show that FeNi deposited with Mo or Al yields magnetically soft materials and that depositing with B further increases the softness. The out-of-plane magnetic anisotropy of FeNi thin films is reduced by depositing with Al and completely removed by depositing with B. The effect of depositing with Mo is dependent on the Mo concentration. The coercivity of FeNiMo and FeNiAl is reduced to less than a half of that of FeNi, and a value as low as 40 A/m is obtained for FeNiB. The surfaces of the obtained FeNiMo, FeNiAl and FeNiB thin films reveal very different morphologies. The surface of FeNiMo shows nano-cracks, while the FeNiAl films show large clusters and fewer nano-cracks. When FeNi is deposited with B, a very smooth morphology is obtained. The crystal structure of FeNiMo strongly depends on the depositant concentration and changes into an amorphous structure at a higher Mo level. FeNiAl thin films remain polycrystalline, even at a very high concentration of Al, and FeNiB films are amorphous, even at a very low concentration of B.
Biosensors2014, 4(2), 172-188; doi:10.3390/bios4020172 - published online 20 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The discovery of the phenomena known as localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) has provided the basis for many research areas, ranging from materials science to biosensing. LSPR has since been viewed as a transduction platform that could yield affordable, portable devices for a multitude of applications. This review aims to outline the potential applications within developing countries and the challenges that are likely to be faced before the technology can be effectively employed.
Biosensors2014, 4(2), 161-171; doi:10.3390/bios4020161 - published online 16 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Designing Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for sensing proteins is still a somewhat empirical process due to the inherent complexity of protein imprinting. Based on Bovine Serum Albumin as a model analyte, we explored the influence of a range of experimental parameters on the final sensor responses. The optimized polymer contains 70% cross linker. Lower amounts lead to higher sensitivity, but also sensor response times substantially increase (to up to 10 h) at constant imprinting effect (signal ratio MIP/NIP on quartz crystal microbalance—QCM). However, by shifting the polymer properties to more hydrophilic by replacing methacrylic acid by acrylic acid, part of the decreased sensitivity can be recovered leading to appreciable sensor responses. Changing polymer morphology by bulk imprinting and nanoparticle approaches has much lower influence on sensitivity.
Biosensors2014, 4(2), 150-160; doi:10.3390/bios4020150 - published online 8 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Screening cargo for illicit substances is in need of rapid high-throughput inspection systems that accurately identify suspicious cargo. Here we investigate the ability of a parasitic wasp, Microplitis croceipes to detect and respond to methyl benzoate, the volatile component of cocaine, by examining their response to training concentrations, their sensitivity at low concentrations, and their ability to detect methyl benzoate when two concealment substances (green tea and ground coffee) are added to the testing arena. Utilizing classical associative learning techniques with sucrose as reward, we found that M. croceipes learns individual concentrations of methyl benzoate, and they can generalize this learning to concentrations 100× lower than the training concentration. Their sensitivity to methyl benzoate is very low at an estimated 3 ppb. They are also able to detect methyl benzoate when covered completely by green tea, but were not able to detect methyl benzoate when covered completely by coffee grounds. Habituation to the tea and coffee odors prior to testing improves their responses, resulting in effective detection of methyl benzoate covered by the coffee grounds. With the aid of the portable device called ‘the wasp hound’, the wasps appear to have potential to be effective on-site biosensors for the detection of cocaine.
Biosensors2014, 4(2), 137-149; doi:10.3390/bios4020137 - published online 29 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Phage display screening of a surface-immobilized adenine derivative led to the identification of a heptameric peptide with selectivity for adenine as demonstrated through quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) studies. The peptide demonstrated a concentration dependent affinity for an adeninyl moiety decorated surface (KD of 968 ± 53.3 μM), which highlights the power of piezoelectric sensing in the study of weak interactions.