Chemosensors2015, 3(2), 36-54; doi:10.3390/chemosensors3020036 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nucleic acids that change their properties upon photo-irradiation could be powerful materials for molecular sensing with high spatiotemporal resolution. Recently, we reported a photo-isomeric nucleoside bearing azobenzene at the C5 position of 2'-deoxyuridine (dUAz), whose hybridization ability could be reversibly controlled by the appropriate wavelength of light. In this paper, we synthesized and evaluated dUAz analogues that have various para-substitutions on the azobenzene moiety. Spectroscopic measurements and HPLC analyses revealed that the para-substitutions of the azobenzene moiety strongly affect the photo-isomerization ability and thermal stability of the cis-form. The results suggest that proper substitution of the azobenzene moiety can improve the properties of dUAz as a light-responsive nucleic acid probe.
Abstract: The present work describes the development of a voltammetric sensor for the selective determination of Acid Green 25 (AG25) hair dye, widely used in commercial temporary hair dyes. The method is based on a glassy carbon electrode modified with multiwalled carbon nanotubes activated in the presence of sulfuric acid, where the anthraquinone group present as a chromophore in the dye molecule is reduced at −0.44 V vs. Ag/AgCl in a reversible process involving two electrons in Britton-Robinson (B-R) buffer solution at pH 4.0. Analytical curves were obtained using square wave voltammetry in the range from 1.0 × 10−7 to 7.0 × 10−6 mol·L−1, achieving a detection limit of 2.7 × 10−9 mol·L−1. The voltammograms recorded for the Acid Black 1 (AB1) dye showed that the azo groups of the dye were reduced on the carbon nanotube-modified electrode (CNTME), presenting a pair of redox peaks at −0.27 V and −0.24 V in the reverse scan. Under these experimental conditions, both dyes could be detected in the water sample, since the AG25 dye is reduced at −0.47 V. The presence of other hair dyes bearing other chromophore groups, such as Acid Black 1, Acid Red 33 and basic blue 99, did not interfere with the method, which showed an average recovery of 96.7 ± 3.5% (n = 5) for AG25 dye determination in the presence of all of these dyes. The method was successfully applied to tap water and wastewater samples collected from a water treatment plant.
Abstract: The first fifty years of chemoresistive sensors for gas detection are here reviewed, focusing on the main scientific and technological innovations that have occurred in the field over the course of these years. A look at advances made in fundamental and applied research and leading to the development of actual high performance chemoresistive devices is presented. The approaches devoted to the synthesis of novel semiconducting materials with unprecedented nanostructure and gas-sensing properties have been also presented. Perspectives on new technologies and future applications of chemoresistive gas sensors have also been highlighted.
Abstract: In this study we report on the spectral properties and G-quadruplex folding ability of fluorescent oligonucleotide probes modified by the attachment of a cholesterol moiety. These probes were designed and studied in order to verify their potential as potassium-sensing devices that can be incorporated into the cellular membrane. The 19-meric guanine-rich deoxyoligonucleotide was labeled with reporter fluorescent FRET groups (FAM and TAMRA) and a cholesterol anchor was attached using different approaches. The probes exhibited abilities to fold into a quadruplex structure and to bind metal cations (Na+ and K+). In an unbound state, both termini of the oligonucleotide are separated, thus fluorophores do not interact with each other and the probe exhibits an unperturbed fluorescence spectrum. In the presence of K+, the quadruplex structure is developed such that it enables fluorophores to be arranged in close proximity, causing generation of a different fluorescence spectrum (FRET signal). Folding properties of probes and their spectral behavior were examined by recording the UV-Vis, fluorescence emission, and excitation spectra (FRET efficiency), and the temperature stability of G-quadruplex structures adopted by probes (melting profiles). Fluorescence energy transfer efficiency increased with increases in sodium or potassium ion concentrations in an aqueous solution, which indicated that the probes retained their cation-binding properties and could be promising candidates for potassium sensing at the cell membrane interface.
Abstract: We report the fabrication of a voltammetric electronic tongue for the detection and discrimination of harmful substances intentionally added to milk to increase its shelf life or imitate protein content. The electronic tongue consisted of three working electrodes composed of platinum, gold, and copper. The measurement principles involved the extraction of information from cyclic voltammograms recorded in unadulterated and adulterated milk. The extracted data were analysed using principal component analysis and the contaminants were successfully differentiated from one another in a score plot. Electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance analysis was used to investigate the electrode response in order to understand the mechanism by which the tongue could discriminate between the samples. It was found that the electrochemical formation and dissolution of platinum and gold oxides, and the reduction of a copper-melamine ionic pair formed at the surface of the copper electrode were the main factors responsible for discrimination. In addition, the electronic tongue was capable of identifying adulterations in different types of milk (whole, skimmed, and semi-skimmed) and milk from different brands. The lowest concentration of adulterant that resulted in a good discrimination was 10.0, 4.16, and 0.95 mmol·L−1 for formaldehyde, urea, and melamine, respectively.