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Biosensors, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 32 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient which has antioxidant properties and is known to play a role in cancer prevention. Green algae Chlorella vulgaris cultivated in Se-enriched environment may be used as a food supplement to provide adequate levels of Se. We used Raman microspectroscopy (RS) for fast and nondestructive measurement of Se concentration in algal cells. We employed inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry as a reference method for RS and found a solid correlation between the Raman signal intensity at 252 cm−1 and total Se concentration in the studied cells. We used RS to demonstrated the necessity of active cellular transport for Se accumulation. Additionally, we observed the intracellular Se being transformed into an elemental form, which we further supported using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy imaging. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Domain Transfer Learning for PCG Diagnosis Algorithm
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040127 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Cardiechema is a way to reflect cardiovascular disease where the doctor uses a stethoscope to help determine the heart condition with a sound map. In this paper, phonocardiogram (PCG) is used as a diagnostic signal, and a deep learning diagnostic framework is proposed. [...] Read more.
Cardiechema is a way to reflect cardiovascular disease where the doctor uses a stethoscope to help determine the heart condition with a sound map. In this paper, phonocardiogram (PCG) is used as a diagnostic signal, and a deep learning diagnostic framework is proposed. By improving the architecture and modules, a new transfer learning and boosting architecture is mainly employed. In addition, a segmentation method is designed to improve on the existing signal segmentation methods, such as R wave to R wave interval segmentation and fixed segmentation. For the evaluation, the final diagnostic architecture achieved a sustainable performance with a public PCG database. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sources of Inaccuracy in Photoplethysmography for Continuous Cardiovascular Monitoring
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040126 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a low-cost, noninvasive optical technique that uses change in light transmission with changes in blood volume within tissue to provide information for cardiovascular health and fitness. As remote health and wearable medical devices become more prevalent, PPG devices are being [...] Read more.
Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a low-cost, noninvasive optical technique that uses change in light transmission with changes in blood volume within tissue to provide information for cardiovascular health and fitness. As remote health and wearable medical devices become more prevalent, PPG devices are being developed as part of wearable systems to monitor parameters such as heart rate (HR) that do not require complex analysis of the PPG waveform. However, complex analyses of the PPG waveform yield valuable clinical information, such as: blood pressure, respiratory information, sympathetic nervous system activity, and heart rate variability. Systems aiming to derive such complex parameters do not always account for realistic sources of noise, as testing is performed within controlled parameter spaces. A wearable monitoring tool to be used beyond fitness and heart rate must account for noise sources originating from individual patient variations (e.g., skin tone, obesity, age, and gender), physiology (e.g., respiration, venous pulsation, body site of measurement, and body temperature), and external perturbations of the device itself (e.g., motion artifact, ambient light, and applied pressure to the skin). Here, we present a comprehensive review of the literature that aims to summarize these noise sources for future PPG device development for use in health monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Molecular Diagnostic Sensor Based on Ball-Lensed Optical Fibers
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040125 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Given the fatal health conditions caused by emerging infectious pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, their rapid diagnosis is required for preventing secondary infections and guiding correct treatments. Although various molecular diagnostic methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been [...] Read more.
Given the fatal health conditions caused by emerging infectious pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, their rapid diagnosis is required for preventing secondary infections and guiding correct treatments. Although various molecular diagnostic methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been suggested as gold standards for identifying different species, these methods are not suitable for the rapid diagnosis of pathogens owing to their long result acquisition times and complexity. In this study, we developed a rapid bio-optical sensor that uses a ball-lensed optical fiber (BLOF) probe and an automatic analysis platform to precisely diagnose infectious pathogens. The BLOF probe is easy to align and has a high optical sensing sensitivity (1.5-fold) and a large detection range (1.2-fold) for an automatic optical sensing system. Automatic signal processing of up to 250 copies/reaction of DNA of Q-fever-causing Coxiella burnetii was achieved within 8 min. The clinical utility of this system was demonstrated with 18 clinical specimens (9 Q-fever and 9 other febrile disease samples) by measuring the resonant wavelength shift of positive or negative samples for Coxiella burnetii DNA. The results from the system revealed the stable and automatic optical signal measurement of DNA with 100% accuracy. We envision that this BLOF probe-based sensor would be a practical tool for the rapid, simple, and sensitive diagnosis of emerging infectious pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophotonic Sensors for Human Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Bacteriophage-Based Biosensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: An Integrated Approach for the Putative Real-Time Detection of Multi-Drug-Resistant Strains
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040124 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
During the last decennium, it has become widely accepted that ubiquitous bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, exert enormous influences on our planet’s biosphere, killing between 4–50% of the daily produced bacteria and constituting the largest genetic diversity pool on our planet. Currently, bacterial infections [...] Read more.
During the last decennium, it has become widely accepted that ubiquitous bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, exert enormous influences on our planet’s biosphere, killing between 4–50% of the daily produced bacteria and constituting the largest genetic diversity pool on our planet. Currently, bacterial infections linked to healthcare services are widespread, which, when associated with the increasing surge of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, play a major role in patient morbidity and mortality. In this scenario, Pseudomonas aeruginosa alone is responsible for ca. 13–15% of all hospital-acquired infections. The pathogen P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic one, being endowed with metabolic versatility and high (both intrinsic and acquired) resistance to antibiotics. Bacteriophages (or phages) have been recognized as a tool with high potential for the detection of bacterial infections since these metabolically inert entities specifically attach to, and lyse, bacterial host cells, thus, allowing confirmation of the presence of viable cells. In the research effort described herein, three different phages with broad lytic spectrum capable of infecting P. aeruginosa were isolated from environmental sources. The isolated phages were elected on the basis of their ability to form clear and distinctive plaques, which is a hallmark characteristic of virulent phages. Next, their structural and functional stabilization was achieved via entrapment within the matrix of porous alginate, biopolymeric, and bio-reactive, chromogenic hydrogels aiming at their use as sensitive matrices producing both color changes and/or light emissions evolving from a reaction with (released) cytoplasmic moieties, as a bio-detection kit for P. aeruginosa cells. Full physicochemical and biological characterization of the isolated bacteriophages was the subject of a previous research paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Toxins and Pathogen Biodetection)
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Open AccessReview
Plasmonic Biosensors for Single-Molecule Biomedical Analysis
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040123 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
The rapid spread of epidemic diseases (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) has contributed to focus global attention on the diagnosis of medical conditions by ultrasensitive detection methods. To overcome this challenge, increasing efforts have been driven towards the development of single-molecule analytical platforms. [...] Read more.
The rapid spread of epidemic diseases (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) has contributed to focus global attention on the diagnosis of medical conditions by ultrasensitive detection methods. To overcome this challenge, increasing efforts have been driven towards the development of single-molecule analytical platforms. In this context, recent progress in plasmonic biosensing has enabled the design of novel detection strategies capable of targeting individual molecules while evaluating their binding affinity and biological interactions. This review compiles the latest advances in plasmonic technologies for monitoring clinically relevant biomarkers at the single-molecule level. Functional applications are discussed according to plasmonic sensing modes based on either nanoapertures or nanoparticle approaches. A special focus was devoted to new analytical developments involving a wide variety of analytes (e.g., proteins, living cells, nucleic acids and viruses). The utility of plasmonic-based single-molecule analysis for personalized medicine, considering technological limitations and future prospects, is also overviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Nanoplasmonic Technologies in Biosensors)
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Open AccessCommunication
Organotrialkoxysilane-Functionalized Noble Metal Monometallic, Bimetallic, and Trimetallic Nanoparticle Mediated Non-Enzymatic Sensing of Glucose by Resonance Rayleigh Scattering
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040122 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Organotrialkoxysilanes like 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (3-APTMS)-treated noble metal cations were rapidly converted into their respective nanoparticles in the presence of 3-glycidoxypropylytrimethoxysilane (3-GPTMS). The micellar activity of 3-APTMS also allowed us to replace 3-GPTMS with other suitable organic reagents (e.g., formaldehyde); this approach has significant advantages [...] Read more.
Organotrialkoxysilanes like 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (3-APTMS)-treated noble metal cations were rapidly converted into their respective nanoparticles in the presence of 3-glycidoxypropylytrimethoxysilane (3-GPTMS). The micellar activity of 3-APTMS also allowed us to replace 3-GPTMS with other suitable organic reagents (e.g., formaldehyde); this approach has significant advantages for preparing bimetallic and trimetallic analogs of noble metal nanoparticles that display efficient activity in many practical applications. The formation of monometallic gold, silver, and palladium nanoparticles, bimetallic Ag-Pd, and Au-Pd nanoparticles at various ratios of noble metal cations, and trimetallic Ag-Au-Pd nanoparticles were studied; their biocatalytic activity in non-enzymatic sensing of glucose based on monitoring synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) was assessed. Of these nanoparticles, Au-Pd made with an 80:20 Au:Pd ratio displayed excellent catalytic activity for glucose sensing. These nanoparticles could also be homogenized with Nafion to enhance the resonance Rayleigh scattering (RRS) signal. In this study, the structural characterization of noble metal nanoparticles as well as bi- and tri-metallic nanoparticles in addition to their use in non-enzymatic sensing of glucose are reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Last Advances in Optical Biosensors)
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Open AccessCommunication
A Theoretical and Simulation Analysis of the Sensitivity of SiNWs-FET Sensors
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040121 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Theoretical study and software simulation on the sensitivity of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) field effect transistor (FET) sensors in terms of surface-to-volume ratio, depletion ratio, surface state and lattice quality are carried out. Generally, SiNWs-FET sensors with triangular cross-sections are more sensitive than sensors [...] Read more.
Theoretical study and software simulation on the sensitivity of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) field effect transistor (FET) sensors in terms of surface-to-volume ratio, depletion ratio, surface state and lattice quality are carried out. Generally, SiNWs-FET sensors with triangular cross-sections are more sensitive than sensors with circular or square cross-sections. Two main reasons are discussed in this article. Firstly, SiNWs-FET sensors with triangular cross-sections have the largest surface-to-volume ratio and depletion ratio which significantly enhance the sensors’ sensitivity. Secondly, the manufacturing processes of the electron beam lithography (EBL) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods seriously affect the surface state and lattice quality, which eventually influence SiNWs-FET sensors’ sensitivity. In contrast, wet etching and thermal oxidation (WETO) create fewer surface defects and higher quality lattices. Furthermore, the software simulation confirms that SiNWs-FET sensors with triangular cross-sections have better sensitivity than the other two types of SiNWs-FET sensors under the same conditions, consistent with the theoretical analysis. The article fully proved that SiNWs-FET sensors fabricated by the WETO method produced the best sensitivity and it will be widely used in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor and Bioelectronic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Using CNN and HHT to Predict Blood Pressure Level Based on Photoplethysmography and Its Derivatives
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040120 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
According to the WTO, there were 1.13 billion hypertension patients worldwide in 2015. The WTO encouraged people to check the blood pressure regularly because a large amount of patients do not have any symptoms. However, traditional cuff measurement results are not enough to [...] Read more.
According to the WTO, there were 1.13 billion hypertension patients worldwide in 2015. The WTO encouraged people to check the blood pressure regularly because a large amount of patients do not have any symptoms. However, traditional cuff measurement results are not enough to represent the patient′s blood pressure status over a period of time. Therefore, there is an urgent need for portable, easy to operate, continuous measurement, and low-cost blood pressure measuring devices. In this paper, we adopted the convolutional neural network (CNN), based on the Hilbert–Huang Transform (HHT) method, to predict blood pressure (BP) risk level using photoplethysmography (PPG). Considering that the PPG′s first and second derivative signals are related to atherosclerosis and vascular elasticity, we created a dataset called PPG+; the images of PPG+ carry information on PPG and its derivatives. We built three classification experiments by collecting 582 data records (the length of each record is 10 s) from the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) database: NT (normotension) vs. HT (hypertension), NT vs. PHT (prehypertension), and (NT + PHT) vs. HT; the F1 scores of the PPG + experiments using AlexNet were 98.90%, 85.80%, and 93.54%, respectively. We found that, first, the dataset established by the HHT method performed well in the BP grade prediction experiment. Second, because the Hilbert spectra of the PPG are simple and periodic, AlexNet, which has only 8 layers, got better results. More layers instead increased the cost and difficulty of training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Biosensors: Detection, Analysis and Medical Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Influenza Virus Using a SOI-Nanoribbon Chip, Based on an N-Type Field-Effect Transistor
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040119 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The detection of influenza A virions with a nanoribbon detector (NR detector) has been demonstrated. Chips for the detector have been fabricated based on silicon-on-insulator nanoribbon structures (SOI nanoribbon chip), using a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible technology—by means of gas-phase etching and standard optical [...] Read more.
The detection of influenza A virions with a nanoribbon detector (NR detector) has been demonstrated. Chips for the detector have been fabricated based on silicon-on-insulator nanoribbon structures (SOI nanoribbon chip), using a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible technology—by means of gas-phase etching and standard optical photolithography. The surface of the SOI nanoribbon chip contains a matrix of 10 nanoribbon (NR) sensor elements. SOI nanoribbon chips of n-type conductance have been used for this study. For biospecific detection of target particles, antibodies against influenza virus have been covalently immobilized onto NRs. Influenza A virus detection was performed by real-time registration of the source-drain current through the NRs. The detection of the target viral particles was carried out in buffer solutions at the target particles concentration within the range from 107 to 103 viral particles per milliliter (VP/mL). The lowest detectable concentration of the target viral particles was 6 × 10−16 M (corresponding to 104 VP/mL). The use of solutions containing ~109 to 1010 VP/mL resulted in saturation of the sensor surface with the target virions. In the saturation mode, detection was impossible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiconductor-Based Biosensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Carbon-Based Antifouling Nano-Biosensing Interface for Label-Free POCT of HbA1c
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040118 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Electrochemical biosensing relies on electron transport on electrode surfaces. However, electrode inactivation and biofouling caused by a complex biological sample severely decrease the efficiency of electron transfer and the specificity of biosensing. Here, we designed a three-dimensional antifouling nano-biosensing interface to improve the [...] Read more.
Electrochemical biosensing relies on electron transport on electrode surfaces. However, electrode inactivation and biofouling caused by a complex biological sample severely decrease the efficiency of electron transfer and the specificity of biosensing. Here, we designed a three-dimensional antifouling nano-biosensing interface to improve the efficiency of electron transfer by a layer of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GA). The electrochemical properties of the BSA/MWCNTs/GA layer were investigated using both cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance to demonstrate its high-efficiency antifouling nano-biosensing interface. The BSA/MWCNTs/GA layer kept 92% of the original signal in 1% BSA and 88% of that in unprocessed human serum after a 1-month exposure, respectively. Importantly, we functionalized the BSA/MWCNTs/GA layer with HbA1c antibody (anti-HbA1c) and 3-aminophenylboronic acid (APBA) for sensitive detection of glycated hemoglobin A (HbA1c). The label-free direct electrocatalytic oxidation of HbA1c was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The linear dynamic range of 2 to 15% of blood glycated hemoglobin A (HbA1c) in non-glycated hemoglobin (HbAo) was determined. The detection limit was 0.4%. This high degree of differentiation would facilitate a label-free POCT detection of HbA1c. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio–Nano-Interfaces for Engineering and Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Sub-Nanomolar Concentration of Trypsin by Thickness-Shear Mode Acoustic Biosensor and Spectrophotometry
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040117 - 11 Apr 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The determination of protease activity is very important for disease diagnosis, drug development, and quality and safety assurance for dairy products. Therefore, the development of low-cost and sensitive methods for assessing protease activity is crucial. We report two approaches for monitoring protease activity: [...] Read more.
The determination of protease activity is very important for disease diagnosis, drug development, and quality and safety assurance for dairy products. Therefore, the development of low-cost and sensitive methods for assessing protease activity is crucial. We report two approaches for monitoring protease activity: in a volume and at surface, via colorimetric and acoustic wave-based biosensors operated in the thickness-shear mode (TSM), respectively. The TSM sensor was based on a β-casein substrate immobilized on a piezoelectric quartz crystal transducer. After an enzymatic reaction with trypsin, it cleaved the surface-bound β-casein, which increased the resonant frequency of the crystal. The limit of detection (LOD) was 0.48 ± 0.08 nM. A label-free colorimetric assay for trypsin detection has also been performed using β-casein and 6-mercaptohexanol (MCH) functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs/MCH-β-casein). Due to the trypsin cleavage of β-casein, the gold nanoparticles lost shelter, and MCH increased the attractive force between the modified AuNPs. Consequently, AuNPs aggregated, and the red shift of the absorption spectra was observed. Spectrophotometric assay enabled an LOD of 0.42 ± 0.03 nM. The Michaelis–Menten constant, KM, for reverse enzyme reaction has also been estimated by both methods. This value for the colorimetric assay (0.56 ± 0.10 nM) is lower in comparison with those for the TSM sensor (0.92 ± 0.44 nM). This is likely due to the better access of the trypsin to the β-casein substrate at the surface of AuNPs in comparison with those at the TSM transducer. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
Genetically Encoded Fluorescent Indicators for Imaging Brain Chemistry
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040116 - 11 Apr 2021
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Genetically encoded fluorescent indicators, combined with optical imaging, enable the detection of physiologically or behaviorally relevant neural activity with high spatiotemporal resolution. Recent developments in protein engineering and screening strategies have improved the dynamic range, kinetics, and spectral properties of genetically encoded fluorescence [...] Read more.
Genetically encoded fluorescent indicators, combined with optical imaging, enable the detection of physiologically or behaviorally relevant neural activity with high spatiotemporal resolution. Recent developments in protein engineering and screening strategies have improved the dynamic range, kinetics, and spectral properties of genetically encoded fluorescence indicators of brain chemistry. Such indicators have detected neurotransmitter and calcium dynamics with high signal-to-noise ratio at multiple temporal and spatial scales in vitro and in vivo. This review summarizes the current trends in these genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of neurotransmitters and calcium, focusing on their key metrics and in vivo applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetically Encoded Biosensor)
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Open AccessArticle
Raman Microspectroscopic Analysis of Selenium Bioaccumulation by Green Alga Chlorella vulgaris
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040115 - 10 Apr 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Selenium (Se) is an element with many commercial applications as well as an essential micronutrient. Dietary Se has antioxidant properties and it is known to play a role in cancer prevention. However, the general population often suffers from Se deficiency. Green algae, such [...] Read more.
Selenium (Se) is an element with many commercial applications as well as an essential micronutrient. Dietary Se has antioxidant properties and it is known to play a role in cancer prevention. However, the general population often suffers from Se deficiency. Green algae, such as Chlorella vulgaris, cultivated in Se-enriched environment may be used as a food supplement to provide adequate levels of Se. We used Raman microspectroscopy (RS) for fast, reliable, and non-destructive measurement of Se concentration in living algal cells. We employed inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry as a reference method to RS and we found a substantial correlation between the Raman signal intensity at 252 cm−1 and total Se concentration in the studied cells. We used RS to assess the uptake of Se by living and inactivated algae and demonstrated the necessity of active cellular transport for Se accumulation. Additionally, we observed the intracellular Se being transformed into an insoluble elemental form, which we further supported by the energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Food Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Sensitive Electrochemical Aptasensor for Detecting the VEGF165 Tumor Marker with PANI/CNT Nanocomposites
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040114 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Sensing targeted tumor markers with high sensitivity provides vital information for the fast diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. A vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) have recently emerged as a promising biomarker of tumor cells. The electrochemical aptasensor is a promising [...] Read more.
Sensing targeted tumor markers with high sensitivity provides vital information for the fast diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. A vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) have recently emerged as a promising biomarker of tumor cells. The electrochemical aptasensor is a promising tool for detecting VEGF165 because of its advantages such as a low cost and quantitative analysis. To produce a sensitive and stable sensor electrode, nanocomposites based on polyaniline (PANI) and carbon nanotube (CNT) have potential, as they provide for easy fabrication, simple synthesis, have a large surface area, and are suitable in biological environments. Here, a label-free electrochemical aptasensor based on nanocomposites of CNT and PANI was prepared for detecting VEGF165 as a tumor marker. The nanocomposite was assembled with immobilized VEGF165 aptamer as a highly sensitive VEGF165 sensor. It exhibited stable and wide linear detection ranges from 0.5 pg/mL to 1 μg/mL, with a limit of detection of 0.4 pg/mL because of the complementary effect of PANI/CNT. The fabricated aptasensor also exhibited good stability in biological conditions, selectivity, and reproducibility after several measurement times after the dissociation process. Thus, it could be applied for the non-invasive determination of VEGF, in biological fluid diagnosis kits, or in an aptamer-based biosensor platform in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Label and Label-Free Aptasensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Optical Method for the Evaluation of Whole Blood Coagulation
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040113 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Blood coagulation is a defense mechanism, which is activated in case of blood loss, due to vessel damage, or other injury. Pathological cases arise from malfunctions of the blood coagulation mechanism, and rapid growth of clots results in partially or even fully blocked [...] Read more.
Blood coagulation is a defense mechanism, which is activated in case of blood loss, due to vessel damage, or other injury. Pathological cases arise from malfunctions of the blood coagulation mechanism, and rapid growth of clots results in partially or even fully blocked blood vessel. The aim of this work is to characterize blood coagulation, by analyzing the time-dependent structural properties of whole blood, using an inexpensive design and robust processing approaches. The methods used in this work include brightfield microscopy and image processing techniques, applied on finger-prick blood samples. The blood samples were produced and directly utilized in custom-made glass microchannels. Color images were captured via a microscopy-camera setup for a period of 35 min, utilizing three different magnifications. Statistical information was extracted directly from the color components and the binary conversions of the images. The main advantage in the current work lies on a Boolean classification approach utilized on the binary data, which enabled to identify the interchange between specific structural elements of blood, namely the red blood cells, the plasma and the clotted regions, as a result of the clotting process. Coagulation indices produced included a bulk coagulation index, a plasma-reduction based index and a clot formation index. The results produced with the inexpensive design and the low computational complexity in the current approach, show good agreement with the literature, and a great potential for a robust characterization of blood coagulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensing and Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle
Melting Curve Analysis of Aptachains: Adenosine Detection with Internal Calibration
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040112 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Small molecules are ubiquitous in nature and their detection is relevant in various domains. However, due to their size, sensitive and selective probes are difficult to select and the detection methods are generally indirect. In this study, we introduced the use of melting [...] Read more.
Small molecules are ubiquitous in nature and their detection is relevant in various domains. However, due to their size, sensitive and selective probes are difficult to select and the detection methods are generally indirect. In this study, we introduced the use of melting curve analysis of aptachains based on split-aptamers for the detection of adenosine. Aptamers, short oligonucleotides, are known to be particularly efficient probes compared to antibodies thanks to their advantageous probe/target size ratio. Aptachains are formed from dimers with dangling ends followed by the split-aptamer binding triggered by the presence of the target. The high melting temperature of the dimers served as a calibration for the detection/quantification of the target based on the height and/or temperature shift of the aptachain melting peak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamers to Replace Antibodies for in vitro Diagnostics)
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Open AccessCommunication
Gel-Like Human Mimicking Phantoms: Realization Procedure, Dielectric Characterization and Experimental Validations on Microwave Wearable Body Sensors
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040111 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 309
Abstract
A simple and low-cost procedure for gel-like time-durable biological phantoms is presented in this work. Easily accessible materials are adopted, which are able to provide a flexible and controllable method to rapidly realize different kind of tissues. The proposed technique is applied to [...] Read more.
A simple and low-cost procedure for gel-like time-durable biological phantoms is presented in this work. Easily accessible materials are adopted, which are able to provide a flexible and controllable method to rapidly realize different kind of tissues. The proposed technique is applied to fabricate various tissue-mimicking phantoms, namely skin, muscle, blood and fat. Their effectiveness is first tested by performing dielectric characterization on a wide frequency range, from 500 MHz up to 5 GHz, and validating the measured dielectric parameters (dielectric constant and conductivity) by comparison with reference models in the literature. Then, a multi-layer phantom simulating the human arm is realized, and a wearable body sensor is adopted to prove the perfect agreement of the biometric response achieved in the presence of the fabricated phantom and that provided by a real human arm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Open AccessReview
Paper-Based Biosensors: Frontiers in Point-of-Care Detection of COVID-19 Disease
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040110 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
This review summarizes the state of the art of paper-based biosensors (PBBs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) detection. Three categories of PBB are currently being been used for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics, namely for viral gene, viral antigen and [...] Read more.
This review summarizes the state of the art of paper-based biosensors (PBBs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) detection. Three categories of PBB are currently being been used for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics, namely for viral gene, viral antigen and antibody detection. The characteristics, the analytical performance, the advantages and drawbacks of each type of biosensor are highlighted and compared with traditional methods. It is hoped that this review will be useful for scientists for the development of novel PBB platforms with enhanced performance for helping to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, by allowing early diagnosis at the point of care (POC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Biosensors for Medical Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Detection of Electrolytes Using a Solid-State Ion-Selective Electrode of Single-Piece Type Membrane
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040109 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 317
Abstract
This study aimed to develop simple electrochemical electrodes for the fast detection of chloride, sodium and potassium ions in human serum. A flat thin-film gold electrode was used as the detection electrode for chloride ions; a single-piece type membrane based solid-state ion-selective electrode [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop simple electrochemical electrodes for the fast detection of chloride, sodium and potassium ions in human serum. A flat thin-film gold electrode was used as the detection electrode for chloride ions; a single-piece type membrane based solid-state ion-selective electrode (ISE), which was formed by covering a flat thin-film gold electrode with a mixture of 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ) and ion-selective membrane (ISM), was developed for sodium and potassium ions detection. Through cyclic voltammetry (CV) and square-wave voltammetry (SWV), the detection data can be obtained within two minutes. The linear detection ranges in the standard samples of chloride, sodium, and potassium ions were 25–200 mM, 50–200 mM, and 2–10 mM, with the average relative standard deviation (RSD) of 0.79%, 1.65%, and 0.47% and the average recovery rates of 101%, 100% and 96%, respectively. Interference experiments with Na+, K+, Cl, Ca2+, and Mg2+ ions demonstrated that the proposed detection electrodes have good selectivity. Moreover, the proposed detection electrodes have characteristics such as the ability to be prepared under relatively simple process conditions, excellent detection sensitivity, and low RSD, and the detection linear range is suitable for the Cl, Na+ and K+ concentrations in human serum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Dimensional Materials for Biochemical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Self-Powered Portable Flexible Sensor of Monitoring Speed Skating Techniques
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040108 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
With the development of 5G technology, contemporary technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analyses have been widely applied to the sport industry. This paper focuses on the design of a portable, self-powered, flexible sensor, which does not require an [...] Read more.
With the development of 5G technology, contemporary technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analyses have been widely applied to the sport industry. This paper focuses on the design of a portable, self-powered, flexible sensor, which does not require an external power supply. The sensor is capable of monitoring speed skating techniques, thereby helping professional athletes to enhance their performance. This sensor mainly consists of Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) with polarization after a silvering electrode and a flexible polyester substrate. Flexible sensors are attached to the push-off joint part of speed skaters and the ice skate blade. During motion, it produces different piezoelectricity signals depending on the states of motion. The monitoring and analyzing of the real-time sensor signals will adjust the athlete’s skating angle, frequency, and push-off techniques, thus improving user training and enhancing performance. Moreover, the production of piezoelectric signals can charge the capacitor, provide power for small electronic equipment (e.g., wireless device), and extend the applications of wearable flexible sensors to the Big Data and IoT technologies in the sport industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Powered Flexible Bio/Chemical Sensors and Electronic Skin)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in the Fabrication and Functionalization of Flexible Optical Biosensors: Toward Smart Life-Sciences Applications
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040107 - 04 Apr 2021
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Over the last 30 years, optical biosensors based on nanostructured materials have obtained increasing interest since they allow the screening of a wide variety of biomolecules with high specificity, low limits of detection, and great sensitivity. Among them, flexible optical platforms have the [...] Read more.
Over the last 30 years, optical biosensors based on nanostructured materials have obtained increasing interest since they allow the screening of a wide variety of biomolecules with high specificity, low limits of detection, and great sensitivity. Among them, flexible optical platforms have the advantage of adapting to non-planar surfaces, suitable for in vivo and real-time monitoring of diseases and assessment of food safety. In this review, we summarize the newest and most advanced platforms coupling optically active materials (noble metal nanoparticles) and flexible substrates giving rise to hybrid nanomaterials and/or nanocomposites, whose performances are comparable to the ones obtained with hard substrates (e.g., glass and semiconductors). We focus on localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)-based and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-based biosensors. We show that large-scale, cost-effective plasmonic platforms can be realized with the currently available techniques and we emphasize the open issues associated with this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Issue of Biosensors and Bioelectronic Devices Section)
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Open AccessCommunication
Embedded Immunodetection System for Fecal Occult Blood
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040106 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
In this paper, a rapid test system with high sensitivity, linearity, and stability is presented for fecal occult blood (FOB) detection. The coloration results of the immune response are used as the basis for the determination of the detection target in combination with [...] Read more.
In this paper, a rapid test system with high sensitivity, linearity, and stability is presented for fecal occult blood (FOB) detection. The coloration results of the immune response are used as the basis for the determination of the detection target in combination with an immunochromatographic strip. The rapid test system can be used to detect and calculate the concentration of the sample, so detection of the immune coloration response is more accurate in a quantitative analysis. The system is composed of both hardware and software. The programs used for the analysis and programmed by Python include the main program, polarization calibration, QR Code decoding, Bluetooth transmission, and image processing. After verification of each part of the system, it was found that the rapid test system successfully detects from 0 ng/mL to 400 ng/mL of FOB with coefficients of variation (CV) below 3.7% and 1000 ng/mL with a CV only at 7.41%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Point-of-Care Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
A Sensor Designed to Record Underwater Irradiance with Concern for a Shark’s Spectral Sensitivity
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040105 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
To ascertain how scalloped hammerhead sharks make nightly migrations to their feeding grounds as many as 20 km from their daytime abode, a seamount, a sensor was developed that measured irradiance intensity within the spectral range and sensitivity of the vision of the [...] Read more.
To ascertain how scalloped hammerhead sharks make nightly migrations to their feeding grounds as many as 20 km from their daytime abode, a seamount, a sensor was developed that measured irradiance intensity within the spectral range and sensitivity of the vision of the species. Could the sharks guide their movements by sensing the polarity of irradiation energy radiated from the sun or moon that penetrated into the oceanic depths? Two sensory receptors, cones and rods, are present in the retina of sharks to enable them to see both during daytime and nighttime. The peak sensitivity of the cones is red-shifted due to the presence of these wavelengths during the former period, while their response is linear under the range of the high light levels also present at this time; the peak sensitivity of rods is blue-shifted due to the presence of these wavelengths during dawn, dusk, and nighttime and is linear over the complementary range of low light levels. Spectral response curves for these two receptors were determined for sharks, and an attempt was made to match those of the sensors to the shark’s wavelength perception. The first sensor was matched to the photopic range using a photocell covered with a red-shifted gel filter; the second was matched to the scotopic range using a blue-shifted gel filter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Environmental Monitoring and Food Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Sensitive Twin Resonance Coupling Refractive Index Sensor Based on Gold- and MgF2-Coated Nano Metal Films
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040104 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
A plasmonic material-coated circular-shaped photonic crystal fiber (C-PCF) sensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is proposed to explore the optical guiding performance of the refractive index (RI) sensing at 1.7–3.7 μm. A twin resonance coupling profile is observed by selectively infiltrating [...] Read more.
A plasmonic material-coated circular-shaped photonic crystal fiber (C-PCF) sensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is proposed to explore the optical guiding performance of the refractive index (RI) sensing at 1.7–3.7 μm. A twin resonance coupling profile is observed by selectively infiltrating liquid using finite element method (FEM). A nano-ring gold layer with a magnesium fluoride (MgF2) coating and fused silica are used as plasmonic and base material, respectively, that help to achieve maximum sensing performance. RI analytes are highly sensitive to SPR and are injected into the outmost air holes of the cladding. The highest sensitivity of 27,958.49 nm/RIU, birefringence of 3.9 × 104, resolution of 3.70094 × 105 RIU, and transmittance dip of −34 dB are achieved. The proposed work is a purely numerical simulation with proper optimization. The value of optimization has been referred to with an experimental tolerance value, but at the same time it has been ensured that it is not fabricated and tested. In summary, the explored C-PCF can widely be eligible for RI-based sensing applications for its excellent performance, which makes it a solid candidate for next generation biosensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Optical Fiber Based Biosensors)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances of Field-Effect Transistor Technology for Infectious Diseases
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040103 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Field-effect transistor (FET) biosensors have been intensively researched toward label-free biomolecule sensing for different disease screening applications. High sensitivity, incredible miniaturization capability, promising extremely low minimum limit of detection (LoD) at the molecular level, integration with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology and [...] Read more.
Field-effect transistor (FET) biosensors have been intensively researched toward label-free biomolecule sensing for different disease screening applications. High sensitivity, incredible miniaturization capability, promising extremely low minimum limit of detection (LoD) at the molecular level, integration with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology and last but not least label-free operation were amongst the predominant motives for highlighting these sensors in the biosensor community. Although there are various diseases targeted by FET sensors for detection, infectious diseases are still the most demanding sector that needs higher precision in detection and integration for the realization of the diagnosis at the point of care (PoC). The COVID-19 pandemic, nevertheless, was an example of the escalated situation in terms of worldwide desperate need for fast, specific and reliable home test PoC devices for the timely screening of huge numbers of people to restrict the disease from further spread. This need spawned a wave of innovative approaches for early detection of COVID-19 antibodies in human swab or blood amongst which the FET biosensing gained much more attention due to their extraordinary LoD down to femtomolar (fM) with the comparatively faster response time. As the FET sensors are promising novel PoC devices with application in early diagnosis of various diseases and especially infectious diseases, in this research, we have reviewed the recent progress on developing FET sensors for infectious diseases diagnosis accompanied with a thorough discussion on the structure of Chem/BioFET sensors and the readout circuitry for output signal processing. This approach would help engineers and biologists to gain enough knowledge to initiate their design for accelerated innovations in response to the need for more efficient management of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contactless Temperature Sensing at the Microscale Based on Titanium Dioxide Raman Thermometry
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040102 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
The determination of local temperature at the nanoscale is a key point to govern physical, chemical and biological processes, strongly influenced by temperature. Since a wide range of applications, from nanomedicine to nano- or micro-electronics, requires a precise determination of the local temperature, [...] Read more.
The determination of local temperature at the nanoscale is a key point to govern physical, chemical and biological processes, strongly influenced by temperature. Since a wide range of applications, from nanomedicine to nano- or micro-electronics, requires a precise determination of the local temperature, significant efforts have to be devoted to nanothermometry. The identification of efficient materials and the implementation of detection techniques are still a hot topic in nanothermometry. Many strategies have been already investigated and applied to real cases, but there is an urgent need to develop new protocols allowing for accurate and sensitive temperature determination. The focus of this work is the investigation of efficient optical thermometers, with potential applications in the biological field. Among the different optical techniques, Raman spectroscopy is currently emerging as a very interesting tool. Its main advantages rely on the possibility of carrying out non-destructive and non-contact measurements with high spatial resolution, reaching even the nanoscale. Temperature variations can be determined by following the changes in intensity, frequency position and width of one or more bands. Concerning the materials, Titanium dioxide has been chosen as Raman active material because of its intense cross-section and its biocompatibility, as already demonstrated in literature. Raman measurements have been performed on commercial anatase powder, with a crystallite dimension of hundreds of nm, using 488.0, 514.5, 568.2 and 647.1 nm excitation lines of the CW Ar+/Kr+ ion laser. The laser beam was focalized through a microscope on the sample, kept at defined temperature using a temperature controller, and the temperature was varied in the range of 283–323 K. The Stokes and anti-Stokes scattered light was analyzed through a triple monochromator and detected by a liquid nitrogen-cooled CCD camera. Raw data have been analyzed with Matlab, and Raman spectrum parameters—such as area, intensity, frequency position and width of the peak—have been calculated using a Lorentz fitting curve. Results obtained, calculating the anti-Stokes/Stokes area ratio, demonstrate that the Raman modes of anatase, in particular the Eg one at 143 cm−1, are excellent candidates for the local temperature detection in the visible range. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Wearable Flexible Dry Electrode Based on Cowhide for ECG Measurement
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040101 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 451
Abstract
The electrocardiogram (ECG) electrode, as a sensor, is an important part of the wearable ECG monitoring device. Natural leather is rarely used as the electrode substrate. In this paper, wearable flexible silver electrodes based on cowhide were prepared by sputtering and brush-painting. A [...] Read more.
The electrocardiogram (ECG) electrode, as a sensor, is an important part of the wearable ECG monitoring device. Natural leather is rarely used as the electrode substrate. In this paper, wearable flexible silver electrodes based on cowhide were prepared by sputtering and brush-painting. A signal generator, oscilloscope, impedance test instrument, and ECG monitor were used to build the test platform evaluating the performance of electrodes with six subjects. The lossless waveform transmission can be achieved with our electrodes. Therefore, the Pearson’s correlation coefficient calculated with input waveform and output waveform of the electrodes based on the top grain layer (GLE) and the split layer (SLE) of cowhide were 0.997 and 0.998 at 0.1 Hz respectively. The skin electrode impedance (Z) was tested, and the parameters of the equivalent circuit model of the skin electrode interface were calculated by a fitting method, indicating that the Z of the prepared electrodes was comparable with the standard gel electrode when the skin is moist enough. The signal-to-noise ratio of the ECG of the GLE and the SLE were 1.148 and 1.205 times that of the standard electrode in the standing posture, which meant the ECG measured by our electrodes was basically consistent with that measured by the standard electrode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor and Bioelectronic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Diameter Estimation of Fallopian Tubes Using Visual Sensing
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040100 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Calculating an accurate diameter of arbitrary vessel-like shapes from 2D images is of great use in various applications within medical and biomedical fields. Understanding the changes in morphological dimensioning of the biological vessels provides a better understanding of their properties and functionality. Estimating [...] Read more.
Calculating an accurate diameter of arbitrary vessel-like shapes from 2D images is of great use in various applications within medical and biomedical fields. Understanding the changes in morphological dimensioning of the biological vessels provides a better understanding of their properties and functionality. Estimating the diameter of the tubes is very challenging as the dimensions change continuously along its length. This paper describes a novel algorithm that estimates the diameter of biological tubes with a continuously changing cross-section. The algorithm, evaluated using various controlled images, provides an automated diameter estimation with higher and better accuracy than manual measurements and provides precise information about the diametrical changes along the tube. It is demonstrated that the automated algorithm provides more accurate results in a much shorter time. This methodology has the potential to speed up diagnostic procedures in a wide range of medical fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Biosensors and Bio-Signal Processing)
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Open AccessReview
Medical Devices for Tremor Suppression: Current Status and Future Directions
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040099 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Tremors are the most prevalent movement disorder that interferes with the patient’s daily living, and physical activities, ultimately leading to a reduced quality of life. Due to the pathophysiology of tremor, developing effective pharmacotherapies, which are only suboptimal in the management of tremor, [...] Read more.
Tremors are the most prevalent movement disorder that interferes with the patient’s daily living, and physical activities, ultimately leading to a reduced quality of life. Due to the pathophysiology of tremor, developing effective pharmacotherapies, which are only suboptimal in the management of tremor, has many challenges. Thus, a range of therapies are necessary in managing this progressive, aging-associated disorder. Surgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation are able to provide durable tremor control. However, due to high costs, patient and practitioner preference, and perceived high risks, their utilization is minimized. Medical devices are placed in a unique position to bridge this gap between lifestyle interventions, pharmacotherapies, and surgical treatments to provide safe and effective tremor suppression. Herein, we review the mechanisms of action, safety and efficacy profiles, and clinical applications of different medical devices that are currently available or have been previously investigated for tremor suppression. These devices are primarily noninvasive, which can be a beneficial addition to the patient’s existing pharmacotherapy and/or lifestyle intervention. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Trimethylamine N-Oxide Biosensor with Enzyme-Based Oxygen-Scavenging Membrane for Long-Term Operation under Ambient Air
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040098 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 457
Abstract
An amperometric trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) biosensor is reported, where TMAO reductase (TorA) and glucose oxidase (GOD) and catalase (Cat) were immobilized on the electrode surface, enabling measurements of mediated enzymatic TMAO reduction at low potential under ambient air conditions. The oxygen anti-interference [...] Read more.
An amperometric trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) biosensor is reported, where TMAO reductase (TorA) and glucose oxidase (GOD) and catalase (Cat) were immobilized on the electrode surface, enabling measurements of mediated enzymatic TMAO reduction at low potential under ambient air conditions. The oxygen anti-interference membrane composed of GOD, Cat and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel, together with glucose concentration, was optimized until the O2 reduction current of a Clark-type electrode was completely suppressed for at least 3 h. For the preparation of the TMAO biosensor, Escherichia coli TorA was purified under anaerobic conditions and immobilized on the surface of a carbon electrode and covered by the optimized O2 scavenging membrane. The TMAO sensor operates at a potential of −0.8 V vs. Ag/AgCl (1 M KCl), where the reduction of methylviologen (MV) is recorded. The sensor signal depends linearly on TMAO concentrations between 2 µM and 15 mM, with a sensitivity of 2.75 ± 1.7 µA/mM. The developed biosensor is characterized by a response time of about 33 s and an operational stability over 3 weeks. Furthermore, measurements of TMAO concentration were performed in 10% human serum, where the lowest detectable concentration is of 10 µM TMAO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Biosensors)
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