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Sensors, Volume 14, Issue 2 (February 2014), Pages 1902-3824

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sensors in 2013
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3797-3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203797
Received: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
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Abstract
The editors of Sensors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Implementation and Performance of a GPS/INS Tightly Coupled Assisted PLL Architecture Using MEMS Inertial Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3768-3796; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203768
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (3521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of global navigation satellite system receivers for navigation still presents many challenges in urban canyon and indoor environments, where satellite availability is typically reduced and received signals are attenuated. To improve the navigation performance in such environments, several enhancement methods can
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The use of global navigation satellite system receivers for navigation still presents many challenges in urban canyon and indoor environments, where satellite availability is typically reduced and received signals are attenuated. To improve the navigation performance in such environments, several enhancement methods can be implemented. For instance, external aid provided through coupling with other sensors has proven to contribute substantially to enhancing navigation performance and robustness. Within this context, coupling a very simple GPS receiver with an Inertial Navigation System (INS) based on low-cost micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors is considered in this paper. In particular, we propose a GPS/INS Tightly Coupled Assisted PLL (TCAPLL) architecture, and present most of the associated challenges that need to be addressed when dealing with very-low-performance MEMS inertial sensors. In addition, we propose a data monitoring system in charge of checking the quality of the measurement flow in the architecture. The implementation of the TCAPLL is discussed in detail, and its performance under different scenarios is assessed. Finally, the architecture is evaluated through a test campaign using a vehicle that is driven in urban environments, with the purpose of highlighting the pros and cons of combining MEMS inertial sensors with GPS over GPS alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A Disposable Alkaline Phosphatase-Based Biosensor for Vanadium Chronoamperometric Determination
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3756-3767; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203756
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A chronoamperometric method for vanadium ion determination, based on the inhibition of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase, is reported. Screen-printed carbon electrodes modified with gold nanoparticles were used as transducers for the immobilization of the enzyme. The enzymatic activity over 4-nitrophenyl phosphate sodium salt
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A chronoamperometric method for vanadium ion determination, based on the inhibition of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase, is reported. Screen-printed carbon electrodes modified with gold nanoparticles were used as transducers for the immobilization of the enzyme. The enzymatic activity over 4-nitrophenyl phosphate sodium salt is affected by vanadium ions, which results in a decrease in the chronoamperometric current registered. The developed method has a detection limit of 0.39 ± 0.06 µM, a repeatability of 7.7% (n = 4) and a reproducibility of 8% (n = 3). A study of the possible interferences shows that the presence of Mo(VI), Cr(III), Ca(II) and W(VI), may affect vanadium determination at concentration higher than 1.0 mM. The method was successfully applied to the determination of vanadium in spiked tap water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amperometric Biosensors)
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Open AccessArticle DNA-Aptamers Binding Aminoglycoside Antibiotics
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3737-3755; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203737
Received: 29 October 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (1257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aptamers are short, single stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides that are able to bind specifically and with high affinity to their non-nucleic acid target molecules. This binding reaction enables their application as biorecognition elements in biosensors and assays. As antibiotic residues pose a
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Aptamers are short, single stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides that are able to bind specifically and with high affinity to their non-nucleic acid target molecules. This binding reaction enables their application as biorecognition elements in biosensors and assays. As antibiotic residues pose a problem contributing to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and thereby reducing the effectiveness of the drug to fight human infections, we selected aptamers targeted against the aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin A with the aim of constructing a robust and functional assay that can be used for water analysis. With this work we show that aptamers that were derived from a Capture-SELEX procedure targeting against kanamycin A also display binding to related aminoglycoside antibiotics. The binding patterns differ among all tested aptamers so that there are highly substance specific aptamers and more group specific aptamers binding to a different variety of aminoglycoside antibiotics. Also the region of the aminoglycoside antibiotics responsible for aptamer binding can be estimated. Affinities of the different aptamers for their target substance, kanamycin A, are measured with different approaches and are in the micromolar range. Finally, the proof of principle of an assay for detection of kanamycin A in a real water sample is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptasensors)
Open AccessArticle Wavelet-Based Watermarking and Compression for ECG Signals with Verification Evaluation
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3721-3736; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203721
Received: 14 December 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (499 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the current open society and with the growth of human rights, people are more and more concerned about the privacy of their information and other important data. This study makes use of electrocardiography (ECG) data in order to protect individual information. An
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In the current open society and with the growth of human rights, people are more and more concerned about the privacy of their information and other important data. This study makes use of electrocardiography (ECG) data in order to protect individual information. An ECG signal can not only be used to analyze disease, but also to provide crucial biometric information for identification and authentication. In this study, we propose a new idea of integrating electrocardiogram watermarking and compression approach, which has never been researched before. ECG watermarking can ensure the confidentiality and reliability of a user’s data while reducing the amount of data. In the evaluation, we apply the embedding capacity, bit error rate (BER), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), compression ratio (CR), and compressed-signal to noise ratio (CNR) methods to assess the proposed algorithm. After comprehensive evaluation the final results show that our algorithm is robust and feasible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensors and Systems)
Open AccessArticle An Analysis of the Precision and Reliability of the Leap Motion Sensor and Its Suitability for Static and Dynamic Tracking
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3702-3720; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203702
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 135 | PDF Full-text (1666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present the results of an evaluation of the performance of the Leap Motion Controller with the aid of a professional, high-precision, fast motion tracking system. A set of static and dynamic measurements was performed with different numbers of tracking objects and configurations.
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We present the results of an evaluation of the performance of the Leap Motion Controller with the aid of a professional, high-precision, fast motion tracking system. A set of static and dynamic measurements was performed with different numbers of tracking objects and configurations. For the static measurements, a plastic arm model simulating a human arm was used. A set of 37 reference locations was selected to cover the controller’s sensory space. For the dynamic measurements, a special V-shaped tool, consisting of two tracking objects maintaining a constant distance between them, was created to simulate two human fingers. In the static scenario, the standard deviation was less than 0.5 mm. The linear correlation revealed a significant increase in the standard deviation when moving away from the controller. The results of the dynamic scenario revealed the inconsistent performance of the controller, with a significant drop in accuracy for samples taken more than 250 mm above the controller’s surface. The Leap Motion Controller undoubtedly represents a revolutionary input device for gesture-based human-computer interaction; however, due to its rather limited sensory space and inconsistent sampling frequency, in its current configuration it cannot currently be used as a professional tracking system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Feature Point Descriptors: Infrared and Visible Spectra
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3690-3701; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203690
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This manuscript evaluates the behavior of classical feature point descriptors when they are used in images from long-wave infrared spectral band and compare them with the results obtained in the visible spectrum. Robustness to changes in rotation, scaling, blur, and additive noise are
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This manuscript evaluates the behavior of classical feature point descriptors when they are used in images from long-wave infrared spectral band and compare them with the results obtained in the visible spectrum. Robustness to changes in rotation, scaling, blur, and additive noise are analyzed using a state of the art framework. Experimental results using a cross-spectral outdoor image data set are presented and conclusions from these experiments are given. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Description of an Advantageous Optical Label-Free Biosensing Interferometric Read-Out Method to Measure Biological Species
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3675-3689; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203675
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article we report a new, simple, and reliable optical read-out detection method able to assess Rotavirus present in human sera as well as in the viral pollution sources. It is based on the interference of two interferometers used as biophotonic transducers.
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In this article we report a new, simple, and reliable optical read-out detection method able to assess Rotavirus present in human sera as well as in the viral pollution sources. It is based on the interference of two interferometers used as biophotonic transducers. The method significantly improves the optical label-free biosensing response measuring both, the concentration of the AgR and its corresponding size. Two different immunoassays were carried out: Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA), and the recognition by its antibody (anti-BSA); and Rotavirus (AgR) and the recognition by its antibody (anti-AgR). In the cases studied, and using as model interferometer a simple Fabry-Perot transducer, we demonstrate a biosensing enhancement of two orders of magnitude in the Limit of Detection (LoD). In fact, this read-out optical method may have significant implications to enhance other optical label-free photonic transducers reported in the scientific literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle Sparse Representations-Based Super-Resolution of Key-Frames Extracted from Frames-Sequences Generated by a Visual Sensor Network
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3652-3674; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203652
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 4 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Visual sensor networks (VSNs) usually generate a low-resolution (LR) frame-sequence due to energy and processing constraints. These LR-frames are not very appropriate for use in certain surveillance applications. It is very important to enhance the resolution of the captured LR-frames using resolution enhancement
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Visual sensor networks (VSNs) usually generate a low-resolution (LR) frame-sequence due to energy and processing constraints. These LR-frames are not very appropriate for use in certain surveillance applications. It is very important to enhance the resolution of the captured LR-frames using resolution enhancement schemes. In this paper, an effective framework for a super-resolution (SR) scheme is proposed that enhances the resolution of LR key-frames extracted from frame-sequences captured by visual-sensors. In a VSN, a visual processing hub (VPH) collects a huge amount of visual data from camera sensors. In the proposed framework, at the VPH, key-frames are extracted using our recent key-frame extraction technique and are streamed to the base station (BS) after compression. A novel effective SR scheme is applied at BS to produce a high-resolution (HR) output from the received key-frames. The proposed SR scheme uses optimized orthogonal matching pursuit (OOMP) for sparse-representation recovery in SR. OOMP does better in terms of detecting true sparsity than orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP). This property of the OOMP helps produce a HR image which is closer to the original image. The K-SVD dictionary learning procedure is incorporated for dictionary learning. Batch-OMP improves the dictionary learning process by removing the limitation in handling a large set of observed signals. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme and show its superiority over other state-of-the-art schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Driving-Simulator-Based Test on the Effectiveness of Auditory Red-Light Running Vehicle Warning System Based on Time-To-Collision Sensor
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3631-3651; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203631
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 12 January 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The collision avoidance warning system is an emerging technology designed to assist drivers in avoiding red-light running (RLR) collisions at intersections. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effect of auditory warning information on collision avoidance behaviors in the RLR pre-crash
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The collision avoidance warning system is an emerging technology designed to assist drivers in avoiding red-light running (RLR) collisions at intersections. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effect of auditory warning information on collision avoidance behaviors in the RLR pre-crash scenarios and further to examine the casual relationships among the relevant factors. A driving-simulator-based experiment was designed and conducted with 50 participants. The data from the experiments were analyzed by approaches of ANOVA and structural equation modeling (SEM). The collisions avoidance related variables were measured in terms of brake reaction time (BRT), maximum deceleration and lane deviation in this study. It was found that the collision avoidance warning system can result in smaller collision rates compared to the without-warning condition and lead to shorter reaction times, larger maximum deceleration and less lane deviation. Furthermore, the SEM analysis illustrate that the audio warning information in fact has both direct and indirect effect on occurrence of collisions, and the indirect effect plays a more important role on collision avoidance than the direct effect. Essentially, the auditory warning information can assist drivers in detecting the RLR vehicles in a timely manner, thus providing drivers more adequate time and space to decelerate to avoid collisions with the conflicting vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessReview Conducting Polymer-Based Nanohybrid Transducers: A Potential Route to High Sensitivity and Selectivity Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3604-3630; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203604
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (1588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of novel sensing materials provides good opportunities to realize previously unachievable sensor performance. In this review, conducting polymer-based nanohybrids are highlighted as innovative transducers for high-performance chemical and biological sensing devices. Synthetic strategies of the nanohybrids are categorized into four groups:
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The development of novel sensing materials provides good opportunities to realize previously unachievable sensor performance. In this review, conducting polymer-based nanohybrids are highlighted as innovative transducers for high-performance chemical and biological sensing devices. Synthetic strategies of the nanohybrids are categorized into four groups: (1) impregnation, followed by reduction; (2) concurrent redox reactions; (3) electrochemical deposition; (4) seeding approach. Nanocale hybridization of conducting polymers with inorganic components can lead to improved sorption, catalytic reaction and/or transport behavior of the material systems. The nanohybrids have thus been used to detect nerve agents, toxic gases, volatile organic compounds, glucose, dopamine, and DNA. Given further advances in nanohybrids synthesis, it is expected that sensor technology will also evolve, especially in terms of sensitivity and selectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Biological and Chemical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Energy-Saving Potentials in the Cloud
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3578-3603; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203578
Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Collecting webpage messages can serve as a sensor for investigating the energy-saving potential of buildings. Focusing on stores, a cloud sensor system is developed to collect data and determine their energy-saving potential. The owner of a store under investigation must register online, report
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Collecting webpage messages can serve as a sensor for investigating the energy-saving potential of buildings. Focusing on stores, a cloud sensor system is developed to collect data and determine their energy-saving potential. The owner of a store under investigation must register online, report the store address, area, and the customer ID number on the electric meter. The cloud sensor system automatically surveys the energy usage records by connecting to the power company website and calculating the energy use index (EUI) of the store. Other data includes the chain store check, company capital, location price, and the influence of weather conditions on the store; even the exposure frequency of store under investigation may impact the energy usage collected online. After collecting data from numerous stores, a multi-dimensional data array is constructed to determine energy-saving potential by identifying stores with similarity conditions. Similarity conditions refer to analyzed results that indicate that two stores have similar capital, business scale, weather conditions, and exposure frequency on web. Calculating the EUI difference or pure technical efficiency of stores, the energy-saving potential is determined. In this study, a real case study is performed. An 8-dimensional (8D) data array is constructed by surveying web data related to 67 stores. Then, this study investigated the savings potential of the 33 stores, using a site visit, and employed the cloud sensor system to determine the saving potential. The case study results show good agreement between the data obtained by the site visit and the cloud investigation, with errors within 4.17%. Among 33 the samples, eight stores have low saving potentials of less than 5%. The developed sensor on the cloud successfully identifies them as having low saving potential and avoids wasting money on the site visit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle A Proposed Scalable Design and Simulation of Wireless Sensor Network-Based Long-Distance Water Pipeline Leakage Monitoring System
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3557-3577; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203557
Received: 29 October 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anomalies such as leakage and bursts in water pipelines have severe consequences for the environment and the economy. To ensure the reliability of water pipelines, they must be monitored effectively. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have emerged as an effective technology for monitoring critical
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Anomalies such as leakage and bursts in water pipelines have severe consequences for the environment and the economy. To ensure the reliability of water pipelines, they must be monitored effectively. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have emerged as an effective technology for monitoring critical infrastructure such as water, oil and gas pipelines. In this paper, we present a scalable design and simulation of a water pipeline leakage monitoring system using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) and WSN technology. The proposed design targets long-distance aboveground water pipelines that have special considerations for maintenance, energy consumption and cost. The design is based on deploying a group of mobile wireless sensor nodes inside the pipeline and allowing them to work cooperatively according to a prescheduled order. Under this mechanism, only one node is active at a time, while the other nodes are sleeping. The node whose turn is next wakes up according to one of three wakeup techniques: location-based, time-based and interrupt-driven. In this paper, mathematical models are derived for each technique to estimate the corresponding energy consumption and memory size requirements. The proposed equations are analyzed and the results are validated using simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Laccase Biosensor Based on Electrospun Copper/Carbon Composite Nanofibers for Catechol Detection
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3543-3556; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203543
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study compared the biosensing properties of laccase biosensors based on carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and copper/carbon composite nanofibers (Cu/CNFs). The two kinds of nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning and carbonization under the same conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman
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The study compared the biosensing properties of laccase biosensors based on carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and copper/carbon composite nanofibers (Cu/CNFs). The two kinds of nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning and carbonization under the same conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy were employed to investigate the morphologies and structures of CNFs and Cu/CNFs. The amperometric results indicated that the Cu/CNFs/laccase(Lac)/Nafion/glass carbon electrode (GCE) possessed reliable analytical performance for the detection of catechol. The sensitivity of the Cu/CNFs/Lac/Nafion/GCE reached 33.1 μA/mM, larger than that of CNFs/Lac/Nafion/GCE. Meanwhile, Cu/CNFs/Lac/Nafion/GCE had a wider linear range from 9.95 × 10−6 to 9.76 × 10−3 M and a lower detection limit of 1.18 μM than CNFs/Lac/Nafion/GCE. Moreover, it exhibited a good repeatability, reproducibility, selectivity and long-term stability, revealing that electrospun Cu/CNFs have great potential in biosensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amperometric Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle Characterizing and Authenticating Montilla-Moriles PDO Vinegars Using Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) Technology
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3528-3542; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203528
Received: 23 January 2014 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the potential of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a non-destructive method for characterizing Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) “Vinagres de Montilla-Moriles” wine vinegars and for classifying them as a function of the manufacturing process used. Three spectrophotometers were evaluated for
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This study assessed the potential of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a non-destructive method for characterizing Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) “Vinagres de Montilla-Moriles” wine vinegars and for classifying them as a function of the manufacturing process used. Three spectrophotometers were evaluated for this purpose: two monochromator instruments (Foss NIRSystems 6500 SY-I and Foss NIRSystems 6500 SY-II; spectral range 400–2,500 nm in both cases) and a diode-array instrument (Corona 45 VIS/NIR; spectral range 380–1,700 nm). A total of 70 samples were used to predict major chemical quality parameters (total acidity, fixed acidity, volatile acidity, pH, dry extract, ash, acetoin, methanol, total polyphenols, color (tonality and intensity), and alcohol content), and to construct models for the classification of vinegars as a function of the manufacturing method used. The results obtained indicate that this non-invasive technology can be used successfully by the vinegar industry and by PDO regulators for the routine analysis of vinegars in order to authenticate them and to detect potential fraud. Slightly better results were achieved with the two monochromator instruments. The findings also highlight the potential of these NIR instruments for predicting the manufacturing process used, this being of particular value for the industrial authentication of traditional wine vinegars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessReview A Survey on Sensor Coverage and Visual Data Capturing/Processing/Transmission in Wireless Visual Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3506-3527; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203506
Received: 15 December 2013 / Revised: 1 February 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wireless Visual Sensor Networks (WVSNs) where camera-equipped sensor nodes can capture, process and transmit image/video information have become an important new research area. As compared to the traditional wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that can only transmit scalar information (e.g., temperature), the visual data
[...] Read more.
Wireless Visual Sensor Networks (WVSNs) where camera-equipped sensor nodes can capture, process and transmit image/video information have become an important new research area. As compared to the traditional wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that can only transmit scalar information (e.g., temperature), the visual data in WVSNs enable much wider applications, such as visual security surveillance and visual wildlife monitoring. However, as compared to the scalar data in WSNs, visual data is much bigger and more complicated so intelligent schemes are required to capture/process/ transmit visual data in limited resources (hardware capability and bandwidth) WVSNs. WVSNs introduce new multi-disciplinary research opportunities of topics that include visual sensor hardware, image and multimedia capture and processing, wireless communication and networking. In this paper, we survey existing research efforts on the visual sensor hardware, visual sensor coverage/deployment, and visual data capture/ processing/transmission issues in WVSNs. We conclude that WVSN research is still in an early age and there are still many open issues that have not been fully addressed. More new novel multi-disciplinary, cross-layered, distributed and collaborative solutions should be devised to tackle these challenging issues in WVSNs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle RF-to-DC Characteristics of Direct Irradiated On-Chip Gallium Arsenide Schottky Diode and Antenna for Application in Proximity Communication System
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3493-3505; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203493
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 9 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report the RF-to-DC characteristics of the integrated AlGaAs/GaAs Schottky diode and antenna under the direct injection and irradiation condition. The conversion efficiency up to 80% under direct injection of 1 GHz signal to the diode was achieved. It was found that the
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We report the RF-to-DC characteristics of the integrated AlGaAs/GaAs Schottky diode and antenna under the direct injection and irradiation condition. The conversion efficiency up to 80% under direct injection of 1 GHz signal to the diode was achieved. It was found that the reduction of series resistance and parallel connection of diode and load tend to lead to the improvement of RF-to-DC conversion efficiency. Under direct irradiation from antenna-to-antenna method, the output voltage of 35 mV was still obtainable for the distance of 8 cm between both antennas in spite of large mismatch in the resonant frequency between the diode and the connected antenna. Higher output voltage in volt range is expected to be achievable for the well-matching condition. The proposed on-chip AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT Schottky diode and antenna seems to be a promising candidate to be used for application in proximity communication system as a wireless low power source as well as a highly sensitive RF detector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Modeling of the Through-the-Thickness Electric Potentials of a Piezoelectric Bimorph Using the Spectral Element Method
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3477-3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203477
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 3 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An efficient spectral element (SE) with electric potential degrees of freedom (DOF) is proposed to investigate the static electromechanical responses of a piezoelectric bimorph for its actuator and sensor functions. A sublayer model based on the piecewise linear approximation for the electric potential
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An efficient spectral element (SE) with electric potential degrees of freedom (DOF) is proposed to investigate the static electromechanical responses of a piezoelectric bimorph for its actuator and sensor functions. A sublayer model based on the piecewise linear approximation for the electric potential is used to describe the nonlinear distribution of electric potential through the thickness of the piezoelectric layers. An equivalent single layer (ESL) model based on first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) is used to describe the displacement field. The Legendre orthogonal polynomials of order 5 are used in the element interpolation functions. The validity and the capability of the present SE model for investigation of global and local responses of the piezoelectric bimorph are confirmed by comparing the present solutions with those obtained from coupled 3-D finite element (FE) analysis. It is shown that, without introducing any higher-order electric potential assumptions, the current method can accurately describe the distribution of the electric potential across the thickness even for a rather thick bimorph. It is revealed that the effect of electric potential is significant when the bimorph is used as sensor while the effect is insignificant when the bimorph is used as actuator, and therefore, the present study may provide a better understanding of the nonlinear induced electric potential for bimorph sensor and actuator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle A New Omni-Directional EMAT for Ultrasonic Lamb Wave Tomography Imaging of Metallic Plate Defects
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3458-3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203458
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a new omni-directional electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) for the ultrasonic Lamb wave (ULW) tomography imaging (TI) of defects in metallic plates. The proposed EMAT is composed of a permanent magnet and a coil with a contra-flexure structure. This new EMAT
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This paper proposes a new omni-directional electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) for the ultrasonic Lamb wave (ULW) tomography imaging (TI) of defects in metallic plates. The proposed EMAT is composed of a permanent magnet and a coil with a contra-flexure structure. This new EMAT coil structure is used for omni-directional ULW transmission and reception and ULW TI for the first time. The theoretical background and the working principles of this EMAT are presented and analyzed. The experimental results of its use on a 3 mm thick aluminum plate indicate that the EMAT with a contra-flexure coil (CFC) can transmit and receive a pure single A0 mode ULW with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Thus, the extraction of the projection data used for ULW TI may be performed accurately. The circumferential consistency of the projection data is only slightly influenced by the distortion of the eddy current field that is induced by the new CFC with an irregular shape. When the new EMAT array is used for ULW TI using the cross-hole method and SIRT arithmetic, a desirable imaging quality can be achieved, and the estimated size of an artificial corrosion defect agreed well with its actual value. The relation between the reconstruction resolution and the number of the new EMATs used is analyzed. More TI experiments are carried out when the aluminum plate defect is in two different locations relative to the EMAT array, for the further investigation of the performances of the new EMATs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of Scintillating X-ray Optical Fiber Sensors
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3445-3457; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203445
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper presents a set of tests carried out in order to evaluate the design characteristics and the operating performance of a set of six X-ray extrinsic optical fiber sensors. The extrinsic sensor we developed is intended to be used as a low
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The paper presents a set of tests carried out in order to evaluate the design characteristics and the operating performance of a set of six X-ray extrinsic optical fiber sensors. The extrinsic sensor we developed is intended to be used as a low energy X-ray detector for monitoring radiation levels in radiotherapy, industrial applications and for personnel dosimetry. The reproducibility of the manufacturing process and the characteristics of the sensors were assessed. The sensors dynamic range, linearity, sensitivity, and reproducibility are evaluated through radioluminescence measurements, X-ray fluorescence and X-ray imaging investigations. Their response to the operating conditions of the excitation source was estimated. The effect of the sensors design and implementation, on the collecting efficiency of the radioluminescence signal was measured. The study indicated that the sensors are efficient only in the first 5 mm of the tip, and that a reflective coating can improve their response. Additional tests were done to investigate the concentricity of the sensors tip against the core of the optical fiber guiding the optical signal. The influence of the active material concentration on the sensor response to X-ray was studied. The tests were carried out by measuring the radioluminescence signal with an optical fiber spectrometer and with a Multi-Pixel Photon Counter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Sensors for Industrial, Environmental and Health Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle Double Fault Detection of Cone-Shaped Redundant IMUs Using Wavelet Transformation and EPSA
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3428-3444; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203428
Received: 21 November 2013 / Revised: 16 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A model-free hybrid fault diagnosis technique is proposed to improve the performance of single and double fault detection and isolation. This is a model-free hybrid method which combines the extended parity space approach (EPSA) with a multi-resolution signal decomposition by using a discrete
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A model-free hybrid fault diagnosis technique is proposed to improve the performance of single and double fault detection and isolation. This is a model-free hybrid method which combines the extended parity space approach (EPSA) with a multi-resolution signal decomposition by using a discrete wavelet transform (DWT). Conventional EPSA can detect and isolate single and double faults. The performance of fault detection and isolation is influenced by the relative size of noise and fault. In this paper; the DWT helps to cancel the high frequency sensor noise. The proposed technique can improve low fault detection and isolation probability by utilizing the EPSA with DWT. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed fault detection method Monte Carlo numerical simulations are performed for a redundant inertial measurement unit (RIMU). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle Inductive Sensor Performance in Partial Discharges and Noise Separation by Means of Spectral Power Ratios
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3408-3427; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203408
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Partial discharge (PD) detection is a standardized technique to qualify electrical insulation in machines and power cables. Several techniques that analyze the waveform of the pulses have been proposed to discriminate noise from PD activity. Among them, spectral power ratio representation shows great
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Partial discharge (PD) detection is a standardized technique to qualify electrical insulation in machines and power cables. Several techniques that analyze the waveform of the pulses have been proposed to discriminate noise from PD activity. Among them, spectral power ratio representation shows great flexibility in the separation of the sources of PD. Mapping spectral power ratios in two-dimensional plots leads to clusters of points which group pulses with similar characteristics. The position in the map depends on the nature of the partial discharge, the setup and the frequency response of the sensors. If these clusters are clearly separated, the subsequent task of identifying the source of the discharge is straightforward so the distance between clusters can be a figure of merit to suggest the best option for PD recognition. In this paper, two inductive sensors with different frequency responses to pulsed signals, a high frequency current transformer and an inductive loop sensor, are analyzed to test their performance in detecting and separating the sources of partial discharges. Full article
Open AccessArticle Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete Panels: Wireless Monitoring and Wavelet-Based Analysis
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3395-3407; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203395
Received: 9 November 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To realize the efficient data capture and accurate analysis of pitting corrosion of the reinforced concrete (RC) structures, we first design and implement a wireless sensor and network (WSN) to monitor the pitting corrosion of RC panels, and then, we propose a wavelet-based
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To realize the efficient data capture and accurate analysis of pitting corrosion of the reinforced concrete (RC) structures, we first design and implement a wireless sensor and network (WSN) to monitor the pitting corrosion of RC panels, and then, we propose a wavelet-based algorithm to analyze the corrosion state with the corrosion data collected by the wireless platform. We design a novel pitting corrosion-detecting mote and a communication protocol such that the monitoring platform can sample the electrochemical emission signals of corrosion process with a configured period, and send these signals to a central computer for the analysis. The proposed algorithm, based on the wavelet domain analysis, returns the energy distribution of the electrochemical emission data, from which close observation and understanding can be further achieved. We also conducted test-bed experiments based on RC panels. The results verify the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed WSN system and algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessReview Gait Analysis Methods: An Overview of Wearable and Non-Wearable Systems, Highlighting Clinical Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3362-3394; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203362
Received: 21 December 2013 / Revised: 4 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 196 | PDF Full-text (934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents a review of the methods used in recognition and analysis of the human gait from three different approaches: image processing, floor sensors and sensors placed on the body. Progress in new technologies has led the development of a series of
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This article presents a review of the methods used in recognition and analysis of the human gait from three different approaches: image processing, floor sensors and sensors placed on the body. Progress in new technologies has led the development of a series of devices and techniques which allow for objective evaluation, making measurements more efficient and effective and providing specialists with reliable information. Firstly, an introduction of the key gait parameters and semi-subjective methods is presented. Secondly, technologies and studies on the different objective methods are reviewed. Finally, based on the latest research, the characteristics of each method are discussed. 40% of the reviewed articles published in late 2012 and 2013 were related to non-wearable systems, 37.5% presented inertial sensor-based systems, and the remaining 22.5% corresponded to other wearable systems. An increasing number of research works demonstrate that various parameters such as precision, conformability, usability or transportability have indicated that the portable systems based on body sensors are promising methods for gait analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Feature Optimization for Long-Range Visual Homing in Changing Environments
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3342-3361; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203342
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces a feature optimization method for robot long-range feature-based visual homing in changing environments. To cope with the changing environmental appearance, the optimization procedure is introduced to distinguish the most relevant features for feature-based visual homing, including the spatial distribution, selection
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This paper introduces a feature optimization method for robot long-range feature-based visual homing in changing environments. To cope with the changing environmental appearance, the optimization procedure is introduced to distinguish the most relevant features for feature-based visual homing, including the spatial distribution, selection and updating. In the previous research on feature-based visual homing, less effort has been spent on the way to improve the feature distribution to get uniformly distributed features, which are closely related to homing performance. This paper presents a modified feature extraction algorithm to decrease the influence of anisotropic feature distribution. In addition, the feature selection and updating mechanisms, which have hardly drawn any attention in the domain of feature-based visual homing, are crucial in improving homing accuracy and in maintaining the representation of changing environments. To verify the feasibility of the proposal, several comprehensive evaluations are conducted. The results indicate that the feature optimization method can find optimal feature sets for feature-based visual homing, and adapt the appearance representation to the changing environments as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle A Vibration-Based MEMS Piezoelectric Energy Harvester and Power Conditioning Circuit
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3323-3341; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203323
Received: 25 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 65 | PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) piezoelectric power generator array for vibration energy harvesting. A complete design flow of the vibration-based energy harvester using the finite element method (FEM) is proposed. The modal analysis is selected to calculate the resonant frequency of
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This paper presents a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) piezoelectric power generator array for vibration energy harvesting. A complete design flow of the vibration-based energy harvester using the finite element method (FEM) is proposed. The modal analysis is selected to calculate the resonant frequency of the harvester, and harmonic analysis is performed to investigate the influence of the geometric parameters on the output voltage. Based on simulation results, a MEMS Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) cantilever array with an integrated large Si proof mass is designed and fabricated to improve output voltage and power. Test results show that the fabricated generator, with five cantilever beams (with unit dimensions of about 3 × 2.4 × 0.05 mm3) and an individual integrated Si mass dimension of about 8 × 12.4 × 0.5 mm3, produces a output power of 66.75 μW, or a power density of 5.19 μWmm−3g−2 with an optimal resistive load of 220 kΩ from 5 m/s2 vibration acceleration at its resonant frequency of 234.5 Hz. In view of high internal impedance characteristic of the PZT generator, an efficient autonomous power conditioning circuit, with the function of impedance matching, energy storage and voltage regulation, is then presented, finding that the efficiency of the energy storage is greatly improved and up to 64.95%. The proposed self-supplied energy generator with power conditioning circuit could provide a very promising complete power supply solution for wireless sensor node loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns and Detection of Virulence Genes in Campylobacter Isolates in Italy
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3308-3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203308
Received: 22 November 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various
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Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle Vertical Dynamic Deflection Measurement in Concrete Beams with the Microsoft Kinect
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3293-3307; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203293
Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 9 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Microsoft Kinect is arguably the most popular RGB-D camera currently on the market, partially due to its low cost. It offers many advantages for the measurement of dynamic phenomena since it can directly measure three-dimensional coordinates of objects at video frame rate
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The Microsoft Kinect is arguably the most popular RGB-D camera currently on the market, partially due to its low cost. It offers many advantages for the measurement of dynamic phenomena since it can directly measure three-dimensional coordinates of objects at video frame rate using a single sensor. This paper presents the results of an investigation into the development of a Microsoft Kinect-based system for measuring the deflection of reinforced concrete beams subjected to cyclic loads. New segmentation methods for object extraction from the Kinect’s depth imagery and vertical displacement reconstruction algorithms have been developed and implemented to reconstruct the time-dependent displacement of concrete beams tested in laboratory conditions. The results demonstrate that the amplitude and frequency of the vertical displacements can be reconstructed with submillimetre and milliHz-level precision and accuracy, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessCommunication Low False-Positives in an mLumin-Based Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation System with a Bicistronic Expression Vector
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3284-3292; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203284
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 15 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The simplicity and sensitivity of the bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay make it a powerful tool to investigate protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in living cells. However, non-specific association of the fluorescent protein fragments in a BiFC system can complicate evaluation of PPIs. Here, we
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The simplicity and sensitivity of the bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay make it a powerful tool to investigate protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in living cells. However, non-specific association of the fluorescent protein fragments in a BiFC system can complicate evaluation of PPIs. Here, we introduced a bicistronic expression vector, pBudCE4.1, into an mLumin-based BiFC system, denoted as the BEVL-BiFC system. The BEVL-BiFC system achieved a 25-fold contrast in BiFC efficiency between positive (Fos/Jun) and negative (ΔFos/Jun) PPIs. The high BiFC efficiency was due to a low false-positive rate, where less than 2% of cells displayed BiFC in the negative control. K-Ras and its interactive proteins, Ras binding domain (RBD) of Raf-1 and Grb2 were used to confirm the accuracy of the BEVL-BiFC system. The results also provide direct evidence in individual cells that post-translational modification of K-Ras and its localization at the plasma membrane (PM) were not essential for the interaction of K-Ras and Raf-1, whereas the interaction of Grb2 and K-Ras did depend on the PM localization of K-Ras. Taken together, the BEVL-BiFC system was developed to reduce the false-positive phenomenon in BiFC assays, resulting in more robust and accurate measurement of PPIs in living cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Open AccessArticle Modelling of Impulsional pH Variations Using ChemFET-Based Microdevices: Application to Hydrogen Peroxide Detection
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3267-3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140203267
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work presents the modelling of impulsional pH variations in microvolume related to water-based electrolysis and hydrogen peroxide electrochemical oxidation using an Electrochemical Field Effect Transistor (ElecFET) microdevice. This ElecFET device consists of a pH-Chemical FET (pH-ChemFET) with an integrated microelectrode around the
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This work presents the modelling of impulsional pH variations in microvolume related to water-based electrolysis and hydrogen peroxide electrochemical oxidation using an Electrochemical Field Effect Transistor (ElecFET) microdevice. This ElecFET device consists of a pH-Chemical FET (pH-ChemFET) with an integrated microelectrode around the dielectric gate area in order to trigger electrochemical reactions. Combining oxidation/reduction reactions on the microelectrode, water self-ionization and diffusion properties of associated chemical species, the model shows that the sensor response depends on the main influential parameters such as: (i) polarization parameters on the microelectrode, i.e., voltage (Vp) and time (tp); (ii) distance between the gate sensitive area and the microelectrode (d); and (iii) hydrogen peroxide concentration ([H2O2]). The model developed can predict the ElecFET response behaviour and creates new opportunities for H2O2-based enzymatic detection of biomolecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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