Special Issue "Biomimetic Receptors and Sensors"


A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Franz Dickert
Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währinger Strasse 38, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Website: http://chemie.univie.ac.at/
E-Mail: franz.dickert@univie.ac.at
Phone: +43 1 4277 52301
Fax: +431 4277 9520
Interests: mass sensitive transducers (QCM, SAW); fluorescence; surface chemistry; host guest chemistry; molecular imprinting

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Molecular Recognition has been the dominant challenge of chemistry over the last decades. According to J.-M. Lehn, tackling this challenge can lead to biomimetic receptors realized by supramolecular chemistry—molecular systems based on interactions between molecules and ions. In this way, innovative receptors can be designed mimicking biological analogues, such as antibodies and enzymes. These phenomena can be understood according to host–guest chemistry. Synthetic crown ethers, e.g. as synthesized by C.J. Pedersen, show a high selectivity to potassium ions, in analogy to the cyclic antibiotic valinomycin. Template-directed syntheses are often used to create synthetic receptors using biomimetic strategies. These ideas are further developed by molecular imprinting, embedding these receptors created by template-directed synthesis into a robust polymer. Furthermore, these processes are based on self-organisation without time-consuming synthesis. These biomimetic coatings can selectively bind both ions and neutral molecules to complex bioanalytes. SPE leads to cleaning and selective enrichment of analytes. These materials are favourably used as sensitive layers for sensors combined with a variety of transducer principles such as optical, electrochemical and mass-sensitive detection. Analytes are widely available from the environment, and applications are obvious for environmental challenges, bio/medical and process engineering monitoring. The size of analytes cover a wide range, from sub-nano-metre for molecules to micro-metre for biological particles.

Prof. Dr. Franz Dickert
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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  • biomimetic receptors
  • supramolecular and host-guest chemistry
  • templating
  • imprinted polymers
  • SPE
  • sensors
  • molecule and ion detection
  • bioanalytes

Published Papers (11 papers)

by  and
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12437-12450; doi:10.3390/s140712437
Received: 14 April 2014; in revised form: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 11 July 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (427 KB)

by , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 11293-11307; doi:10.3390/s140711293
Received: 7 May 2014; in revised form: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (524 KB)

by , , , , , , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 11016-11030; doi:10.3390/s140611016
Received: 8 April 2014; in revised form: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 June 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
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abstract graphic

by , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9720-9737; doi:10.3390/s140609720
Received: 13 May 2014; in revised form: 26 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
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by , , , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8810-8820; doi:10.3390/s140508810
Received: 19 February 2014; in revised form: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
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by ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8605-8632; doi:10.3390/s140508605
Received: 20 February 2014; in revised form: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
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by  and
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 7647-7654; doi:10.3390/s140507647
Received: 28 February 2014; in revised form: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
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by , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 7359-7373; doi:10.3390/s140407359
Received: 12 March 2014; in revised form: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
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by , , ,  and
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 12994-13004; doi:10.3390/s131012994
Received: 24 July 2013; in revised form: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 26 September 2013
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by , ,  and
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12516-12526; doi:10.3390/s130912516
Received: 16 July 2013; in revised form: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 September 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
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by , , , ,  and
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 9148-9159; doi:10.3390/s130709148
Received: 25 May 2013; in revised form: 27 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 16 July 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Stem Cell Enrichment with Selectin Receptors: Mimicking the pH Environment of Trauma
Authors: Michael J. Mitchell, Thong Cao and Michael R. King
Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University; E-Mail: mike.king@cornell.edu
Abstract: The isolation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is critical for transplantation therapy and HSPC research, however current isolation techniques are prohibitively expensive and produce variable results. Selectin-coated microtubes have shown promise in isolating HSPCs from bone marrow, but further purification of HSPCs remains challenging. Herein, a biomimetic device for HSPC isolation was developed to mimic the acidic vascular microenvironment during trauma, which can enhance the binding frequency between L-selectin (on HSPCs) and its counter-receptor PSGL-1. PSGL-1 coated microtubes captured HSPCs at increased purity levels under acidic conditions. Dynamic light scattering was utilized as a novel sensor to confirm an L-selectin conformational change under acidic conditions, as previously predicted by molecular dynamics. These results suggest that mimicking the acidic environment of trauma could enhance the clinical isolation of HSPCs.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Infrared Receptors for Fire Detection in Pyrophilous Insects
Authors: Herbert Bousack, Thilo Kahl, Erik Schneider, Anke Schmitz and Helmut Schmitz
Affiliation: Institute of Zoology, University of Bonn, Poppelsdorfer Schloß, 53115, Bonn, Germany; E-Mail: h.schmitz@uni-bonn.de
Abstract: This review will deal with the capability of insects to sense infrared (IR) radiation emitted from forest fires. So far, true IR receptors have only been found in so-called pyrophilous insects which show the behaviour to approach forest fires. In three genera of pyrophilous beetles and one genus of pyrophilous bugs infrared (IR) receptors have been discovered which will be described in some detail. Although IR receptors are very rare in insects, there is strong evidence that receptors have evolved independently in all four genera of IR sensitive insects. From a technical point of view, insect IR receptors can be classified into two classes: bolometer like sensors innervated by thermoreceptors and so-called photomechanic sensors innervated by highly sensitive so-called ciliary mechanoreceptors. Bolometer like receptors were found in the Australian "fire-beetle" Merimna atrata and the Australian "little-ash" beetle Acanthocnemus nigricans. However, these receptors are fundamentally different from each other. On the other hand the photomechanic IR receptors which can be found in jewel beetles of the genus Melanophila and in some pyrophilous species of the flat bug genus Aradus, are very similar. This type of receptor most probably has developed directly from common mechanosensitive bristles (sensilla triochodea). This development, however, most probably happened independently in Melanophila beetles and in few pyrophilous flat bugs of the large genus Aradus. Because the photomechanic IR receptors seem to be promising candidates for the design of IR sensors, the last part of the review will deal with the biomimetic approach to use this class of insect IR receptors to build new uncooled IR sensors for various applications.

Type of Paper: Review
Metal Oxide Nanosensors Using Polymeric Membranes, Enzymes and Antibodies Receptors as Ion and Molecular Recognition Elements
Magnus Willander and Zafar Hussain Ibupoto
Physical Electronics and Nanotechnology Division, Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrköping, Linköping University, SE-60174 Norrköping, Sweden; E-Mail: magnus.willander@liu.se
Due the advancement in the field of nanotechnology for the synthesis of desired metal oxide nanostructures which provide the solid platform for the integration of nanoelectronics devices. These nanoelectronics based devices have ability to recognise molecular species of living organisms and also open the gate way for the advanced chemical sensing functionalities with low limit of detection up to nanomolar. In this review various metal oxides such as ZnO, CuO, NiO and Co3O4 based nanosensors are demonstrated using different approaches (receptors) of funionalization for the molecular and ion recognition.  These functionalized metal oxide surfaces with a particular receptor involves either the complex formation between the receptor and the analyte or the electrostatic interaction during the chemical sensing of analytes.

Last update: 31 January 2014

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