Biosensors2014, 4(3), 243-256; doi:10.3390/bios4030243 - published online 30 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We review recent progress in the development of electrochemical biosensors based on ferroceneboronic acid (FcBA) and ferrocene (Fc)-modified boronic acids. These compounds can be used to construct electrochemical biosensors because they consist of a binding site (i.e., a boronic acid moiety) and an electrochemically active part (i.e., an Fc residue). By taking advantage of the unique properties of FcBA and its derivatives, electrochemical sensors sensitive to sugars, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fluoride (F−) ions, and so forth have been widely studied. FcBA-based sugar sensors rely on the selective binding of FcBA to 1,2- or 1,3-diol residues of sugars through the formation of cyclic boronate ester bonds. The redox properties of FcBA-sugar adduct differ from those of free FcBA, which forms the basis of the electrochemical determination of sugars. Thus, non-enzymatic glucose sensors are now being actively studied using FcBA and Fc-modified boronic acids as redox markers. Using a similar principle, HbA1c can be detected by FcBA-based electrochemical systems because it contains hydrocarbon chains on the polypeptide chain. HbA1c sensors are useful for monitoring blood glucose levels over the preceding 8–12 weeks. In addition, FcBA and Fc-modified boronic acids have been used for the detection of F− ions due to the selective binding of boronic acid to F− ions. F−-ion sensors may be useful alternatives to conventional ion-selective electrodes sensitive to F− ion. Furthermore, FcBA derivatives have been studied to construct lectin; steroids; nucleotides; salicylic acid; and bacteria sensors. One of the limitations of FcBA-based sensors comes from the fact that FcBA derivatives are added in sample solutions as reagents. FcBA derivatives should be immobilized on the surface of electrodes for developing reagentless sensors.
Biosensors2014, 4(3), 221-242; doi:10.3390/bios4030221 - published online 24 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Birds can use the geomagnetic field for compass orientation. Behavioral experiments, mostly with migrating passerines, revealed three characteristics of the avian magnetic compass: (1) it works spontaneously only in a narrow functional window around the intensity of the ambient magnetic field, but can adapt to other intensities, (2) it is an “inclination compass”, not based on the polarity of the magnetic field, but the axial course of the field lines, and (3) it requires short-wavelength light from UV to 565 nm Green. The Radical Pair-Model of magnetoreception can explain these properties by proposing spin-chemical processes in photopigments as underlying mechanism. Applying radio frequency fields, a diagnostic tool for radical pair processes, supports an involvement of a radical pair mechanism in avian magnetoreception: added to the geomagnetic field, they disrupted orientation, presumably by interfering with the receptive processes. Cryptochromes have been suggested as receptor molecules. Cry1a is found in the eyes of birds, where it is located at the membranes of the disks in the outer segments of the UV-cones in chickens and robins. Immuno-histochemical studies show that it is activated by the wavelengths of light that allow magnetic compass orientation in birds.
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.