Biosensors2015, 5(3), 577-601; doi:10.3390/bios5030577 - published 13 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The inability to diagnose numerous diseases rapidly is a significant cause of the disparity of deaths resulting from both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the developing world in comparison to the developed world. Existing diagnostic instrumentation usually requires sophisticated infrastructure, stable electrical power, expensive reagents, long assay times, and highly trained personnel which is not often available in limited resource settings. This review will critically survey and analyse the current lateral flow-based point-of-care (POC) technologies, which have made a major impact on diagnostic testing in developing countries over the last 50 years. The future of POC technologies including the applications of microfluidics, which allows miniaturisation and integration of complex functions that facilitate their usage in limited resource settings, is discussed The advantages offered by such systems, including low cost, ruggedness and the capacity to generate accurate and reliable results rapidly, are well suited to the clinical and social settings of the developing world.
Biosensors2015, 5(3), 562-576; doi:10.3390/bios5030562 - published 7 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Current bacterial detection techniques are relatively slow, require bulky instrumentation, and usually require some form of specialized training. The gold standard for bacterial detection is culture testing, which can take several days to receive a viable result. Therefore, simpler detection techniques that are both fast and sensitive could greatly improve bacterial detection and identification. Here, we present a new method for the detection of the bacteria Helicobacter hepaticus using whispering-gallery mode (WGM) optical microcavity-based sensors. Due to minimal reflection losses and low material adsorption, WGM-based sensors have ultra-high quality factors, resulting in high-sensitivity sensor devices. In this study, we have shown that bacteria can be non-specifically detected using WGM optical microcavity-based sensors. The minimum detection for the device was 1 × 104 cells/mL, and the minimum time of detection was found to be 750 s. Given that a cell density as low as 1 × 103 cells/mL for Helicobacter hepaticus can cause infection, the limit of detection shown here would be useful for most levels where Helicobacter hepaticus is biologically relevant. This study suggests a new approach for H. hepaticus detection using label-free optical sensors that is faster than, and potentially as sensitive as, standard techniques.
Biosensors2015, 5(3), 537-561; doi:10.3390/bios5030537 - published 6 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Food losses due to crop infections from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi are persistent issues in agriculture for centuries across the globe. In order to minimize the disease induced damage in crops during growth, harvest and postharvest processing, as well as to maximize productivity and ensure agricultural sustainability, advanced disease detection and prevention in crops are imperative. This paper reviews the direct and indirect disease identification methods currently used in agriculture. Laboratory-based techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunofluorescence (IF), fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), flow cytometry (FCM) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) are some of the direct detection methods. Indirect methods include thermography, fluorescence imaging and hyperspectral techniques. Finally, the review also provides a comprehensive overview of biosensors based on highly selective bio-recognition elements such as enzyme, antibody, DNA/RNA and bacteriophage as a new tool for the early identification of crop diseases.
Biosensors2015, 5(3), 513-536; doi:10.3390/bios5030513 - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We combined a multi-sensor glass-chip with a microfluidic channel grid for the characterization of cellular behavior. The grid was imprinted in poly-dimethyl-siloxane. Mouse-embryonal/fetal calvaria fibroblasts (MC3T3-E1) were used as a model system. Thin-film platinum (Pt) sensors for respiration (amperometric oxygen electrode), acidification (potentiometric pH electrodes) and cell adhesion (interdigitated-electrodes structures, IDES) allowed us to monitor cell-physiological parameters as well as the cell-spreading behavior. Two on-chip electro-thermal micro-pumps (ETμPs) permitted the induction of medium flow in the system, e.g., for medium mixing and drug delivery. The glass-wafer technology ensured the microscopic observability of the on-chip cell culture. Connecting Pt structures were passivated by a 1.2 μm layer of silicon nitride (Si3N4). Thin Si3N4 layers (20 nm or 60 nm) were used as the sensitive material of the pH electrodes. These electrodes showed a linear behavior in the pH range from 4 to 9, with a sensitivity of up to 39 mV per pH step. The oxygen sensors were circular Pt electrodes with a sensor area of 78.5 μm2. Their sensitivity was 100 pA per 1% oxygen increase in the range from 0% to 21% oxygen (air saturated). Two different IDES geometries with 30- and 50-μm finger spacings showed comparable sensitivities in detecting the proliferation rate of MC3T3 cells. These cells were cultured for 11 days in vitro to test the biocompatibility, microfluidics and electric sensors of our system under standard laboratory conditions.
Biosensors2015, 5(3), 500-512; doi:10.3390/bios5030500 - published 23 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) belongs to a family of proteins that regulate the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which can process various bioactive molecules such as cell surface receptors, chemokines, and cytokines. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) interact with a number of proteins, thereby playing an essential role in the regulation of many physiological/patho-physiological processes. Both GAGs and TIMP/MMPs play a major role in many cell biological processes, including cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, and host defense. In this report, a heparin biosensor was used to map the interaction between TIMP-3 and heparin and other GAGs by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. These studies show that TIMP-3 is a heparin-binding protein with an affinity of ~59 nM. Competition surface plasmon resonance analysis indicates that the interaction between TIMP-3 and heparin is chain-length dependent, and N-sulfo and 6-O-sulfo groups (rather than the 2-O-sulfo groups) in heparin are important in the interaction of heparin with TIMP-3. Other GAGs (including chondroitin sulfate (CS) type E (CS-E)and CS type B (CS-B)demonstrated strong binding to TIMP-3, while heparan sulfate (HS), CS type A (CSA), CS type C (CSC), and CS type D (CSD) displayed only weak binding affinity.
Biosensors2015, 5(3), 471-499; doi:10.3390/bios5030471 - published 22 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Optical microfibre photonic components offer a variety of enabling properties, including large evanescent fields, flexibility, configurability, high confinement, robustness and compactness. These unique features have been exploited in a range of applications such as telecommunication, sensing, optical manipulation and high Q resonators. Optical microfibre biosensors, as a class of fibre optic biosensors which rely on small geometries to expose the evanescent field to interact with samples, have been widely investigated. Due to their unique properties, such as fast response, functionalization, strong confinement, configurability, flexibility, compact size, low cost, robustness, ease of miniaturization, large evanescent field and label-free operation, optical microfibres based biosensors seem a promising alternative to traditional immunological methods for biomolecule measurements. Unlabeled DNA and protein targets can be detected by monitoring the changes of various optical transduction mechanisms, such as refractive index, absorption and surface plasmon resonance, since a target molecule is capable of binding to an immobilized optical microfibre. In this review, we critically summarize accomplishments of past optical microfibre label-free biosensors, identify areas for future research and provide a detailed account of the studies conducted to date for biomolecules detection using optical microfibres.