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Special Issue "Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ki-Hyun Kim

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-Ro, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +82 2 2220 1945
Interests: environmental monitoring; volatile organic compounds; reduced sulfur compounds; carbonyls

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human activities have long been identified to be the main contributor to the perturbation of metallic cycle. However, relatively little is known about how such perturbations interact or influence between different environmental media (e.g. atmospheric deposition as the major transport pathway of delivering Hg to the oceans and lakes and the consumption of contaminated fishes taken from such aquifers as the major uptake route of Hg by humans). In the recognition of the complexities involved in the environmental cycling of hazardous metal species, issues related to their pollution have nowadays often been treated as one of the major issues in the environmental societies and agencies. The ability to rapidly detect environmentally significant metallic components is hence important to account for various environmental processes regulating their cycle. In this special issue, researchers are invited to present articles emphasizing the sensing (or monitoring) techniques for metallic species in all chemical forms (elemental, ionic, organic/inorganic phase, salt, etc) in all types of environmental media. Submissions can be made either in research paper or review paper.

Prof. Dr. Ki-Hyun Kim
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • monitoring
  • sensor
  • environmental media
  • water
  • air
  • soil
  • hazardous metals

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Bio-Sensing of Cadmium(II) Ions Using Staphylococcus aureus
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10638-10663; doi:10.3390/s111110638
Received: 16 September 2011 / Revised: 31 October 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cadmium, as a hazardous pollutant commonly present in the living environment, represents an important risk to human health due to its undesirable effects (oxidative stress, changes in activities of many enzymes, interactions with biomolecules including DNA and RNA) and consequent potential risk, making
[...] Read more.
Cadmium, as a hazardous pollutant commonly present in the living environment, represents an important risk to human health due to its undesirable effects (oxidative stress, changes in activities of many enzymes, interactions with biomolecules including DNA and RNA) and consequent potential risk, making its detection very important. New and unique technological and biotechnological approaches for solving this problems are intensely sought. In this study, we used the commonly occurring potential pathogenic microorganism Staphylococcus aureus for the determination of markers which could be used for sensing of cadmium(II) ions. We were focused on monitoring the effects of different cadmium(II) ion concentrations (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 µg mL−1) on the growth and energetic metabolism of Staphylococcus aureus. Highly significant changes have been detected in the metabolism of thiol compounds—specifically the protein metallothionein (0.79–26.82 mmol/mg of protein), the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (190–5,827 µmol/min/mg of protein), and sulfhydryl groups (9.6–274.3 µmol cysteine/mg of protein). The ratio of reduced and oxidized glutathione indicated marked oxidative stress. In addition, dramatic changes in urease activity, which is connected with resistance of bacteria, were determined. Further, the effects of cadmium(II) ions on the metabolic pathways of arginine, β-glucosidase, phosphatase, N-acetyl β-D-glucosamine, sucrose, trehalose, mannitol, maltose, lactose, fructose and total proteins were demonstrated. A metabolomic profile of Staphylococcus aureus under cadmium(II) ion treatment conditions was completed seeking data about the possibility of cadmium(II) ion accumulation in cells. The results demonstrate potential in the application of microorganisms as modern biosensor systems based on biological components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Composition of Different Ecotoxicological Test Media on Free and Bioavailable Copper from CuSO4 and CuO Nanoparticles: Comparative Evidence from a Cu-Selective Electrode and a Cu-Biosensor
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10502-10521; doi:10.3390/s111110502
Received: 20 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 3 November 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The analysis of (bio)available copper in complex environmental settings, including biological test media, is a challenging task. In this study, we demonstrated the potential of a recombinant Pseudomonas fluorescens-based biosensor for bioavailability analysis of CuSO4 and CuO nanoparticles (nano-CuO) in seventeen
[...] Read more.
The analysis of (bio)available copper in complex environmental settings, including biological test media, is a challenging task. In this study, we demonstrated the potential of a recombinant Pseudomonas fluorescens-based biosensor for bioavailability analysis of CuSO4 and CuO nanoparticles (nano-CuO) in seventeen different ecotoxicological and microbiologial test media. In parallel, free Cu in these test media was analysed using Cu-ion selective electrode (Cu-ISE). In the case of CuSO4, both free and bioavailable Cu decreased greatly with increasing concentration of organics and phosphates in the tested media. A good correlation between free and bioavailable Cu was observed (r = 0.854, p < 0.01) indicating that the free Cu content in biological test media may be a reasonably good predictor for the toxicity of CuSO4. As a proof, it was demonstrated that when eleven EC50 values for CuSO4 from different organisms in different test media were normalized for the free Cu in these media, the difference in these EC50 values was decreased from 4 to 1.8 orders of magnitude. Thus, toxicity of CuSO4 to these organisms was attributed to the properties of the test media rather than to inherent differences in sensitivity between the test organisms. Differently from CuSO4, the amount of free and bioavailable Cu in nano-CuO spiked media was not significantly correlated with the concentration of organics in the test media. Thus, the speciation of nano-CuO in toxicological test systems was not only determined by the complexation of Cu ions but also by differential dissolution of nano-CuO in different test conditions leading to a new speciation equilibrium. In addition, a substantial fraction of nano-CuO that was not detectable by Cu-ISE (i.e., not present as free Cu-ions) was bioavailable to Cu-biosensor bacteria. Thus, in environmental hazard analysis of (nano) particulate materials, biosensor analysis may be more informative than other analytical techniques. Our results demonstrate that bacterial Cu-biosensors either in combination with other analytical/speciation techniques or on their own, may serve as a rapid (eco)toxicological screening method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)
Figures

Open AccessArticle LuxCDABE—Transformed Constitutively Bioluminescent Escherichia coli for Toxicity Screening: Comparison with Naturally Luminous Vibrio fischeri
Sensors 2011, 11(8), 7865-7878; doi:10.3390/s110807865
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 4 August 2011 / Accepted: 8 August 2011 / Published: 11 August 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We show that in vitro toxicity assay based on inhibition of the bioluminescence of recombinant Escherichia coli encoding thermostable luciferase from Photorhabdus luminescens is a versatile alternative to Vibrio fischeri MicrotoxTM test. Performance of two luxCDABE-transformed E. coli MC1061 constructs (pDNlux)
[...] Read more.
We show that in vitro toxicity assay based on inhibition of the bioluminescence of recombinant Escherichia coli encoding thermostable luciferase from Photorhabdus luminescens is a versatile alternative to Vibrio fischeri MicrotoxTM test. Performance of two luxCDABE-transformed E. coli MC1061 constructs (pDNlux) and (pSLlux) otherwise identical, but having 100-fold different background luminescence was compared with the performance of V. fischeri. The microplate luminometer and a kinetic Flash-Assay test format was used that differently from Microtox test is also applicable for high throughput analysis. Toxic effects (30-s till 30-min EC50) of four heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Hg, Cu) and three organic chemicals (aniline, 3,5-dichloroaniline and 3,5-dichlorophenol) were studied. Both E. coli strains had comparable sensitivity and the respective 30-min EC50 values highly correlated (log-log R2 = 0.99; p < 0.01) showing that the sensitivity of the recombinant bacteria towards chemicals analyzed did not depend on the bioluminescence level of the recombinant cells. The most toxic chemical for all used bacterial strains (E. coli, V. fischeri) was mercury whereas the lowest EC50 values for Hg (0.04–0.05 mg/L) and highest EC50 values for aniline (1,300–1,700 mg/L) were observed for E. coli strains. Despite of that, toxicity results obtained with both E. coli strains (pSLlux and pDNlux) significantly correlated with V. fischeri results (log-log R2 = 0.70/0.75; p < 0.05/0.01). The use of amino acids (0.25%) and glucose (0.05%)-supplemented M9 medium instead of leucine-supplemented saline significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the apparent toxicity of heavy metals to both E. coli strains up to three orders of magnitude, but had little or no complexing effect on organic compounds. Thus, P. luminescens luxCDABE-transformed E. coli strains can be successfully used for the acute toxicity screening of various types of organic chemicals and heavy metals and can replace V. fischeri in certain cases where the thermostability of luciferase >30 °C is crucial. The kinetic Flash Assay test format of the bioluminescence inhibition assay facilitates high throughput analysis. The assay medium, especially in case of testing heavy metals should be a compromise: optimal for the viability/luminescence of the recombinant test strain and of minimum complexing potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Nitrogen Concentration Estimation in Tomato Leaves by VIS-NIR Non-Destructive Spectroscopy
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 6411-6424; doi:10.3390/s110606411
Received: 7 April 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitrogen concentration in plants is normally determined by expensive and time consuming chemical analyses. As an alternative, chlorophyll meter readings and N-NO3 concentration determination in petiole sap were proposed, but these assays are not always satisfactory. Spectral reflectance values of tomato leaves
[...] Read more.
Nitrogen concentration in plants is normally determined by expensive and time consuming chemical analyses. As an alternative, chlorophyll meter readings and N-NO3 concentration determination in petiole sap were proposed, but these assays are not always satisfactory. Spectral reflectance values of tomato leaves obtained by visible-near infrared spectrophotometry are reported to be a powerful tool for the diagnosis of plant nutritional status. The aim of the study was to evaluate the possibility and the accuracy of the estimation of tomato leaf nitrogen concentration performed through a rapid, portable and non-destructive system, in comparison with chemical standard analyses, chlorophyll meter readings and N-NO3 concentration in petiole sap. Mean reflectance leaf values were compared to each reference chemical value by partial least squares chemometric multivariate methods. The correlation between predicted values from spectral reflectance analysis and the observed chemical values showed in the independent test highly significant correlation coefficient (r = 0.94). The utilization of the proposed system, increasing efficiency, allows better knowledge of nutritional status of tomato plants, with more detailed and sharp information and on wider areas. More detailed information both in space and time is an essential tool to increase and stabilize crop quality levels and to optimize the nutrient use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Earthworms and Soil Pollutants
Sensors 2011, 11(12), 11157-11167; doi:10.3390/s111211157
Received: 12 October 2011 / Revised: 1 November 2011 / Accepted: 18 November 2011 / Published: 28 November 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the toxicity of metal contaminated soils has been assessed with various bioassays, more information is needed about the biochemical responses, which may help to elucidate the mechanisms involved in metal toxicity. We previously reported that the earthworm, Eisenia fetida, accumulates cadmium
[...] Read more.
Although the toxicity of metal contaminated soils has been assessed with various bioassays, more information is needed about the biochemical responses, which may help to elucidate the mechanisms involved in metal toxicity. We previously reported that the earthworm, Eisenia fetida, accumulates cadmium in its seminal vesicles. The bio-accumulative ability of earthworms is well known, and thus the earthworm could be a useful living organism for the bio-monitoring of soil pollution. In this short review, we describe recent studies concerning the relationship between earthworms and soil pollutants, and discuss the possibility of using the earthworm as a bio-monitoring organism for soil pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)

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