Heavy metals ions (HMI), if not properly handled, used and disposed, are a hazard for the ecosystem and pose serious risks for human health. They are counted among the most common environmental pollutants, mainly originating from anthropogenic sources, such as agricultural, industrial and/or domestic effluents, atmospheric emissions, etc. To face this issue, it is necessary not only to determine the origin, distribution and the concentration of HMI but also to rapidly (possibly in real-time) monitor their concentration levels in situ. Therefore, portable, low-cost and high performing analytical tools are urgently needed. Even though in the last decades many analytical tools and methodologies have been designed to this aim, there are still several open challenges. Compared with the traditional analytical techniques, such as atomic absorption/emission spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and/or high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical or UV–VIS detectors, bio- and biomimetic electrochemical sensors provide high sensitivity, selectivity and rapid responses within portable and user-friendly devices. In this review, the advances in HMI sensing in the last five years (2016–2020) are addressed. Key examples of bio and biomimetic electrochemical, impedimetric and electrochemiluminescence-based sensors for Hg2+
are described and discussed.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited