Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Novel Micro-Nano Optoelectronic Biosensor for Label-Free Real-Time Biofilm Monitoring
Biosensors 2021, 11(10), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11100361 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
According to the World Health Organization forecasts, AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR) is expected to become one of the leading causes of death worldwide in the following decades. The rising danger of AMR is caused by the overuse of antibiotics, which are becoming [...] Read more.
According to the World Health Organization forecasts, AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR) is expected to become one of the leading causes of death worldwide in the following decades. The rising danger of AMR is caused by the overuse of antibiotics, which are becoming ineffective against many pathogens, particularly in the presence of bacterial biofilms. In this context, non-destructive label-free techniques for the real-time study of the biofilm generation and maturation, together with the analysis of the efficiency of antibiotics, are in high demand. Here, we propose the design of a novel optoelectronic device based on a dual array of interdigitated micro- and nanoelectrodes in parallel, aiming at monitoring the bacterial biofilm evolution by using optical and electrical measurements. The optical response given by the nanostructure, based on the Guided Mode Resonance effect with a Q-factor of about 400 and normalized resonance amplitude of about 0.8, allows high spatial resolution for the analysis of the interaction between planktonic bacteria distributed in small colonies and their role in the biofilm generation, calculating a resonance wavelength shift variation of 0.9 nm in the presence of bacteria on the surface, while the electrical response with both micro- and nanoelectrodes is necessary for the study of the metabolic state of the bacteria to reveal the efficacy of antibiotics for the destruction of the biofilm, measuring a current change of 330 nA when a 15 µm thick biofilm is destroyed with respect to the absence of biofilm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Biosensors: Detection, Analysis and Medical Diagnostics)
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Article
Immunosensor for Assessing the Welfare of Trainee Guide Dogs
Biosensors 2021, 11(9), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11090327 - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Cortisol is a well established biomarker hormone that regulates many processes in the body and is widely referred to as the stress hormone. Cortisol can be used as a stress marker to allow for detection of stress levels in dogs during the training [...] Read more.
Cortisol is a well established biomarker hormone that regulates many processes in the body and is widely referred to as the stress hormone. Cortisol can be used as a stress marker to allow for detection of stress levels in dogs during the training process. This test will indicate if they will handle the stress under the training or if they might be more suitable as an assistant or companion dog. An immunosensor for detection of cortisol was developed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The sensor was characterized using chemical and topographical techniques. The sensor was calibrated and its sensitivity determined using a cortisol concentration range of 0.0005 to 50 μg/mL. The theoretical limit of detection was found to be 3.57 fg/mL. When the immunosensor was tested on canine saliva samples, cortisol was detected and measured within the relevant physiological ranges in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor and Bioelectronic Devices)
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Article
Colorimetric Point-of-Care Detection of Clostridium tyrobutyricum Spores in Milk Samples
Biosensors 2021, 11(9), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11090293 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Clostridium tyrobutyricum represents the main spoiling agent responsible for late blowing defects (LBD) in hard and semi-hard cheeses. Its spores are resistant to manufacturing procedures and can germinate during the long ripening process, causing the burst of the cheese paste with a consequent [...] Read more.
Clostridium tyrobutyricum represents the main spoiling agent responsible for late blowing defects (LBD) in hard and semi-hard cheeses. Its spores are resistant to manufacturing procedures and can germinate during the long ripening process, causing the burst of the cheese paste with a consequent undesirable taste. The lower quality of blown cheeses leads to considerable financial losses for the producers. The early identification of spore contaminations in raw milk samples thus assumes a pivotal role in industrial quality control. Herein, we developed a point of care (POC) testing method for the sensitive detection of C. tyrobutyricum in milk samples, combining fast DNA extraction (with no purification steps) with a robust colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique. Our approach allows for the sensitive and specific detection of C. tyrobutyricum spores (limit of detection, LoD: ~2 spores/mL), with the advantage of a clear naked-eye visualization of the results and a potential semi-quantitative discrimination of the contamination level. In addition, we demonstrated the feasibility of this strategy using a portable battery-operated device that allowed both DNA extraction and amplification steps, proving its potential for on-site quality control applications without the requirement of sophisticated instrumentation and trained personnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Last Advances in Optical Biosensors)
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Article
CRISPR/Cas12a-Based Ultrasensitive and Rapid Detection of JAK2 V617F Somatic Mutation in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
Biosensors 2021, 11(8), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11080247 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
The JAK2 V617F mutation is a major diagnostic, therapeutic, and monitoring molecular target of Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). To date, numerous methods of detecting the JAK2 V617F mutation have been reported, but there is no gold-standard diagnostic method for clinical applications. Here, [...] Read more.
The JAK2 V617F mutation is a major diagnostic, therapeutic, and monitoring molecular target of Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). To date, numerous methods of detecting the JAK2 V617F mutation have been reported, but there is no gold-standard diagnostic method for clinical applications. Here, we developed and validated an efficient Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 12a (Cas12a)-based assay to detect the JAK2 V617F mutation. Our results showed that the sensitivity of the JAK2 V617F/Cas12a fluorescence detection system was as high as 0.01%, and the JAK2 V617F/Cas12a lateral flow strip assay could unambiguously detect as low as 0.5% of the JAK2 V617F mutation, which was much higher than the sensitivity required for clinical application. The minimum detectable concentration of genomic DNA achieved was 0.01 ng/μL (~5 aM, ~3 copies/μL). In addition, the whole process only took about 1.5 h, and the cost of an individual test was much lower than that of the current assays. Thus, our methods can be applied to detect the JAK2 V617F mutation, and they are highly sensitive, rapid, cost-effective, and convenient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of CRISPR Cas Systems for Biosensing)
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Article
A Sarcopenia Detection System Using an RGB-D Camera and an Ultrasound Probe: Eye-in-Hand Approach
Biosensors 2021, 11(7), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11070243 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Skeletal muscle mass deficiency and quality degradation constitute sarcopenia for elderly people. Sarcopenia can result in musculoskeletal damage and accompany various metabolic problems, which make early sarcopenia diagnosis important. Various modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been [...] Read more.
Skeletal muscle mass deficiency and quality degradation constitute sarcopenia for elderly people. Sarcopenia can result in musculoskeletal damage and accompany various metabolic problems, which make early sarcopenia diagnosis important. Various modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been developed for screening sarcopenia. Recently, ultrasound scanning was suggested for screening sarcopenia because of its safety, usability, and cost effectiveness. However, there has been no standardized assessment methodology for screening sarcopenia with ultrasound scanning. Therefore, prior to this study, we developed a four-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) sarcopenia detection system using an RGB-D camera and an ultrasound probe to automatically scan the human thigh without operator dependency. However, due to the eye-to-hand approach with the RGB-D camera, the system has limited usability for clinical trials. Therefore, in this study we modified the system such that it became eye-in-hand by attaching the RGB-D camera to the upper part of the system with an enhanced arc fitting algorithm. The modified system and enhanced algorithm were verified by an in-vitro test with bean curd-gelatin phantom. The results showed that the thickness of bean curd in the gelatin phantom was maintained at approximately 12.7 ± 0.35 mm over the 71.5 scanning range with 2.49 ± 0.15 N radial force at various thickness measuring points. Full article
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Article
Measurement of Low Concentration of Micro-Plastics by Detection of Bioaffinity-Induced Particle Retention Using Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensors
Biosensors 2021, 11(7), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11070219 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
The issue of micro-plastics is becoming more and more important due to their ubiquity and the harm they cause to the human body. Therefore, evaluating the biological–physical interaction of micro-plastics with health cells has become the focus of many research efforts. This study [...] Read more.
The issue of micro-plastics is becoming more and more important due to their ubiquity and the harm they cause to the human body. Therefore, evaluating the biological–physical interaction of micro-plastics with health cells has become the focus of many research efforts. This study focuses on the movement mode and low concentration detection development for micro-plastics in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Firstly, 20-micrometer micro-plastics were prepared by grinding and filtering, and the movement mode was explored; then, the characteristics were investigated by SPR. Chromatographic analysis showed that the surface charge of micro-plastics dominated the elution time, and estrogen receptors (ERs) played a supporting role. A difference of micro-plastics in SPR sensorgram was observed, inferring the micro-plastics’ movement in rolling mode on the ERs. Characteristics analysis indicated that the low particle number of micro-plastics on SPR showed a linear relationship with the response unit (RU). When ERs were immobilized on the biosensor, the force of the binding of micro-plastics to ERs under an ultra-low background was equivalent to the dissociation rate constant shown as follows: PS (0.05 nM) > PVC (0.09 nM) > PE (0.14 nM). The ELISA-like magnetic beads experiment verified the specificity between ERs and micro-plastics. Therefore, by using the SPR technique, a biological-derived over-occupation of PS was found via higher binding force with ERs and longer retention time. In the future, there will be considerable potential for micro-plastics issues, such as identification in natural samples, biomarking, real-time detection in specific environments/regions and human health subject. Full article
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Article
Ce-MOF with Intrinsic Haloperoxidase-Like Activity for Ratiometric Colorimetric Detection of Hydrogen Peroxide
Biosensors 2021, 11(7), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11070204 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Metal–organic framework (MOF) nanozymes, as emerging members of the nanozymes, have received more and more attention due to their composition and structural characteristics. In this work, we report that mixed-valence state Ce-MOF (MVCM) has intrinsic haloperoxidase-mimicking activity. MVCM was synthesized by partial oxidation [...] Read more.
Metal–organic framework (MOF) nanozymes, as emerging members of the nanozymes, have received more and more attention due to their composition and structural characteristics. In this work, we report that mixed-valence state Ce-MOF (MVCM) has intrinsic haloperoxidase-mimicking activity. MVCM was synthesized by partial oxidation method using Ce-MOF as a precursor. In the presence of H2O2 and Br, MVCM can catalyze oxidative bromination of chromogenic substrate phenol red (PR) to produce the blue product bromophenol blue (Br4PR), showing good haloperoxidase-like activity. Because of the special chromogenic substrate, we constructed a ratiometric colorimetric-sensing platform by detecting the absorbance of the MVCM-(PR, Br) system at wavelengths of 590 and 430, for quantifying H2O2, where the detection limit of the H2O2 is 3.25 μM. In addition, the haloperoxidase-mimicking mechanism of the MVCM is proposed. Moreover, through enzyme kinetics monitoring, the Km (H2O2 and NH4Br) of the MVCM is lower than that of cerium oxide nanomaterials, indicating that the MVCM has a stronger binding affinity for H2O2 and NH4Br than other materials. This work provides more application prospects for the development of nanozymes in the field of biosensors in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors in Food Analysis and Environmental Detection)
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Article
Eye-Movement-Controlled Wheelchair Based on Flexible Hydrogel Biosensor and WT-SVM
Biosensors 2021, 11(6), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11060198 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1246
Abstract
To assist patients with restricted mobility to control wheelchair freely, this paper presents an eye-movement-controlled wheelchair prototype based on a flexible hydrogel biosensor and Wavelet Transform-Support Vector Machine (WT-SVM) algorithm. Considering the poor deformability and biocompatibility of rigid metal electrodes, we propose a [...] Read more.
To assist patients with restricted mobility to control wheelchair freely, this paper presents an eye-movement-controlled wheelchair prototype based on a flexible hydrogel biosensor and Wavelet Transform-Support Vector Machine (WT-SVM) algorithm. Considering the poor deformability and biocompatibility of rigid metal electrodes, we propose a flexible hydrogel biosensor made of conductive HPC/PVA (Hydroxypropyl cellulose/Polyvinyl alcohol) hydrogel and flexible PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) substrate. The proposed biosensor is affixed to the wheelchair user’s forehead to collect electrooculogram (EOG) and strain signals, which are the basis to recognize eye movements. The low Young’s modulus (286 KPa) and exceptional breathability (18 g m−2 h−1 of water vapor transmission rate) of the biosensor ensures a conformal and unobtrusive adhesion between it and the epidermis. To improve the recognition accuracy of eye movements (straight, upward, downward, left, and right), the WT-SVM algorithm is introduced to classify EOG and strain signals according to different features (amplitude, duration, interval). The average recognition accuracy reaches 96.3%, thus the wheelchair can be manipulated precisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Biosensors and Bio-Signal Processing)
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Article
Development of a Diagnostic Biosensor Method of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis towards a Point-of-Care Biosensor
Biosensors 2021, 11(6), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11060196 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
In spite of a current increasing trend in the development of miniaturized, standalone point-of-care (PoC) biosensing platforms in the literature, the actual implementation of such systems in the field is far from being a reality although deeply needed. In the particular case of [...] Read more.
In spite of a current increasing trend in the development of miniaturized, standalone point-of-care (PoC) biosensing platforms in the literature, the actual implementation of such systems in the field is far from being a reality although deeply needed. In the particular case of the population screenings for local or regional diseases related to specific pathogens, the diagnosis of the presence of specific antibodies could drastically modify therapies and even the organization of public policies. The aim of this work was to develop a fast, cost-effective detection method based on the manipulation of functionalized magnetic beads for an efficient diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), looking for the presence of anti-pigeon antigen antibodies (APAA) in a patient’s serum. We presented a Diagnostic Biosensor Method (DBM) in detail, with validation by comparison with a traditional high-throughput platform (ELISA assay). We also demonstrated that it was compatible with a microfluidic chip that could be eventually incorporated into a PoC for easy and broad deployment using portable optical detectors. After standardization of the different reaction steps, we constructed and validated a plastic chip that could easily be scaled to high-volume manufacturing in the future. The solution proved comparable to conventional ELISA assays traditionally performed by the clinicians in their laboratory and should be compatible with other antibody detection directly from patient samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Article
Simultaneous Imaging of Bio- and Non-Conductive Targets by Combining Frequency and Time Difference Imaging Methods in Electrical Impedance Tomography
Biosensors 2021, 11(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11060176 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
As a promising medical imaging modality, electrical impedance tomography (EIT) can image the electrical properties within a region of interest using electrical measurements applied at electrodes on the region boundary. This paper proposes to combine frequency and time difference imaging methods in EIT [...] Read more.
As a promising medical imaging modality, electrical impedance tomography (EIT) can image the electrical properties within a region of interest using electrical measurements applied at electrodes on the region boundary. This paper proposes to combine frequency and time difference imaging methods in EIT to simultaneously image bio- and non-conductive targets, where the image fusion is accomplished by applying a wavelet-based technique. To enable image fusion, both time and frequency difference imaging methods are investigated regarding the reconstruction of bio- or non-conductive inclusions in the target region at varied excitation frequencies, indicating that none of those two methods can tackle with the scenarios where both bio- and non-conductive inclusions exist. This dilemma can be resolved by fusing the time difference (td) and appropriate frequency difference (fd) EIT images since they are complementary to each other. Through simulation and in vitro experiment, it is demonstrated that the proposed fusion method can reasonably reconstruct both the bio- and non-conductive inclusions within the lung models established to simulate the ventilation process, which is expected to be beneficial for the diagnosis of lung-tissue related diseases by EIT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensing and Imaging)
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Article
Light-Addressable Actuator-Sensor Platform for Monitoring and Manipulation of pH Gradients in Microfluidics: A Case Study with the Enzyme Penicillinase
Biosensors 2021, 11(6), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11060171 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
The feasibility of light-addressed detection and manipulation of pH gradients inside an electrochemical microfluidic cell was studied. Local pH changes, induced by a light-addressable electrode (LAE), were detected using a light-addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS) with different measurement modes representing an actuator-sensor system. Biosensor [...] Read more.
The feasibility of light-addressed detection and manipulation of pH gradients inside an electrochemical microfluidic cell was studied. Local pH changes, induced by a light-addressable electrode (LAE), were detected using a light-addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS) with different measurement modes representing an actuator-sensor system. Biosensor functionality was examined depending on locally induced pH gradients with the help of the model enzyme penicillinase, which had been immobilized in the microfluidic channel. The surface morphology of the LAE and enzyme-functionalized LAPS was studied by scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, the penicillin sensitivity of the LAPS inside the microfluidic channel was determined with regard to the analyte’s pH influence on the enzymatic reaction rate. In a final experiment, the LAE-controlled pH inhibition of the enzyme activity was monitored by the LAPS. Full article
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Article
New Detection Platform for Screening Bacteria in Liquid Samples
Biosensors 2021, 11(5), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11050142 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 1440
Abstract
The development of sensitive methods for the determination of potential bacterial contamination is of upmost importance for environmental monitoring and food safety. In this study, we present a new method combining a fast pre-enrichment step using a microporous cryogel and a detection and [...] Read more.
The development of sensitive methods for the determination of potential bacterial contamination is of upmost importance for environmental monitoring and food safety. In this study, we present a new method combining a fast pre-enrichment step using a microporous cryogel and a detection and identification step using antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and labelled antibodies, respectively. The experimental method consists of: (i) the capture of large amounts of bacteria from liquid samples by using a highly porous and functionalized cryogel; (ii) the detection and categorisation of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria by determining their affinities toward a small set of AMPs; and (iii) the identification of the bacterial strain by using labelled detection antibodies. As proof of concept, the assessment of the three steps of the analysis was performed by using Escherichia coli and Bacillus sp. as models for Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. The use of AMPs with broad specificity combined with labelled antibodies enabled the detection and potential categorization of a large spectrum of unknown or unexpected bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Monitoring of Biologically Relevant Molecules)
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Article
Whole Cell Recognition of Staphylococcus aureus Using Biomimetic SPR Sensors
Biosensors 2021, 11(5), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11050140 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
Over the past few decades, a significant increase in multi-drug-resistant pathogenic microorganisms has been of great concern and directed the research subject to the challenges that the distribution of resistance genes represent. Globally, high levels of multi-drug resistance represent a significant health threat [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, a significant increase in multi-drug-resistant pathogenic microorganisms has been of great concern and directed the research subject to the challenges that the distribution of resistance genes represent. Globally, high levels of multi-drug resistance represent a significant health threat and there is a growing requirement of rapid, accurate, real-time detection which plays a key role in tracking of measures for the infections caused by these bacterial strains. It is also important to reduce transfer of resistance genes to new organisms. The, World Health Organization has informed that millions of deaths have been reported each year recently. To detect the resistant organisms traditional detection approaches face limitations, therefore, newly developed technologies are needed that are suitable to be used in large-scale applications. In the present study, the aim was to design a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor with micro-contact imprinted sensor chips for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus. Whole cell imprinting was performed by N-methacryloyl-L-histidine methyl ester (MAH) under UV polymerization. Sensing experiments were done within a concentration range of 1.0 × 102–2.0 × 105 CFU/mL. The recognition of S. aureus was accomplished by the involvement of microcontact imprinting and optical sensor technology with a detection limit of 1.5 × 103 CFU/mL. Selectivity of the generated sensor was evaluated through injections of competing bacterial strains. The responses for the different strains were compared to that of S. aureus. Besides, real experiments were performed with milk samples spiked with S. aureus and it was demonstrated that the prepared sensor platform was applicable for real samples. Full article
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Article
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
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1346
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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Article
Biosensing Amplification by Hybridization Chain Reaction on Phase-Sensitive Surface Plasmon Resonance
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030075 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is widely used in biological and chemical sensing with fascinating properties. However, the application of SPR to detect trace targets is hampered by non-specific binding and poor signal. A variety of approaches for amplification have been explored to overcome [...] Read more.
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is widely used in biological and chemical sensing with fascinating properties. However, the application of SPR to detect trace targets is hampered by non-specific binding and poor signal. A variety of approaches for amplification have been explored to overcome this deficiency including DNA aptamers as versatile target detection tools. Hybridization chain reaction (HCR) is a high-efficiency enzyme-free DNA amplification method operated at room temperature, in which two stable species of DNA hairpins coexist in solution until the introduction of the initiator strand triggers a cascade of hybridization events. At an optimal salt condition, as the concentrations of H1 and H2 increased, the HCR signals were enhanced, leading to signal amplification reaching up to 6.5-fold of the detection measure at 30 min. This feature enables DNA to act as an amplifying transducer for biosensing applications to provide an enzyme-free alternative that can easily detect complex DNA sequences. Improvement of more diverse recognition events can be achieved by integrating HCR with a phase-sensitive SPR (pSPR)-tested aptamer stimulus. This work seeks to establish pSPR aptamer system for highly informative sensing by means of an amplification HCR. Thus, combining pSPR and HCR technologies provide an expandable platform for sensitive biosensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Nanoplasmonic Technologies in Biosensors)
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Article
Rapid Detection of Pathogens in Wound Exudate via Nucleic Acid Lateral Flow Immunoassay
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030074 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
The rapid detection of pathogens in infected wounds can significantly improve the clinical outcome. Wound exudate, which can be collected in a non-invasive way, offers an attractive sample material for the detection of pathogens at the point-of-care (POC). Here, we report the development [...] Read more.
The rapid detection of pathogens in infected wounds can significantly improve the clinical outcome. Wound exudate, which can be collected in a non-invasive way, offers an attractive sample material for the detection of pathogens at the point-of-care (POC). Here, we report the development of a nucleic acid lateral flow immunoassay for direct detection of isothermally amplified DNA combined with fast sample preparation. The streamlined protocol was evaluated using human wound exudate spiked with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa that cause severe health issues upon wound colonization. A detection limit of 2.1 × 105 CFU per mL of wound fluid was achieved, and no cross-reaction with other pathogens was observed. Furthermore, we integrated an internal amplification control that excludes false negative results and, in combination with the flow control, ensures the validity of the test result. The paper-based approach with only three simple hands-on steps has a turn-around time of less than 30 min and covers the complete analytical process chain from sample to answer. This newly developed workflow for wound fluid diagnostics has tremendous potential for reliable pathogen POC testing and subsequent target-oriented therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Article
Porous Silicon Biosensor for the Detection of Bacteria through Their Lysate
Biosensors 2021, 11(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11020027 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Porous silicon (PSi) has been widely used as a biosensor in recent years due to its large surface area and its optical properties. Most PSi biosensors consist in close-ended porous layers, and, because of the diffusion-limited infiltration of the analyte, they lack sensitivity [...] Read more.
Porous silicon (PSi) has been widely used as a biosensor in recent years due to its large surface area and its optical properties. Most PSi biosensors consist in close-ended porous layers, and, because of the diffusion-limited infiltration of the analyte, they lack sensitivity and speed of response. In order to overcome these shortcomings, PSi membranes (PSiMs) have been fabricated using electrochemical etching and standard microfabrication techniques. In this work, PSiMs have been used for the optical detection of Bacillus cereus lysate. Before detection, the bacteria are selectively lysed by PlyB221, an endolysin encoded by the bacteriophage Deep-Blue targeting B. cereus. The detection relies on the infiltration of bacterial lysate inside the membrane, which induces a shift of the effective optical thickness. The biosensor was able to detect a B. cereus bacterial lysate, with an initial bacteria concentration of 105 colony forming units per mL (CFU/mL), in only 1 h. This proof-of-concept also illustrates the specificity of the lysis before detection. Not only does this detection platform enable the fast detection of bacteria, but the same technique can be extended to other bacteria using selective lysis, as demonstrated by the detection of Staphylococcus epidermidis, selectively lysed by lysostaphin. Full article
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Article
Quantitative E. coli Enzyme Detection in Reporter Hydrogel-Coated Paper Using a Smartphone Camera
Biosensors 2021, 11(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11010025 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1924
Abstract
There is a growing demand for rapid and sensitive detection approaches for pathogenic bacteria that can be applied by non-specialists in non-laboratory field settings. Here, the detection of the typical E. coli enzyme β-glucuronidase using a chitosan-based sensing hydrogel-coated paper sensor and the [...] Read more.
There is a growing demand for rapid and sensitive detection approaches for pathogenic bacteria that can be applied by non-specialists in non-laboratory field settings. Here, the detection of the typical E. coli enzyme β-glucuronidase using a chitosan-based sensing hydrogel-coated paper sensor and the detailed analysis of the reaction kinetics, as detected by a smartphone camera, is reported. The chromogenic reporter unit affords an intense blue color in a two-step reaction, which was analyzed using a modified Michaelis–Menten approach. This generalizable approach can be used to determine the limit of detection and comprises an invaluable tool to characterize the performance of lab-in-a-phone type approaches. For the particular system analyzed, the ratio of reaction rate and equilibrium constants of the enzyme–substrate complex are 0.3 and 0.9 pM−1h−1 for β-glucuronidase in phosphate buffered saline and lysogeny broth, respectively. The minimal degree of substrate conversion for detection of the indigo pigment formed during the reaction is 0.15, while the minimal time required for detection in this particular system is ~2 h at an enzyme concentration of 100 nM. Therefore, this approach is applicable for quantitative lab-in-a-phone based point of care detection systems that are based on enzymatic substrate conversion via bacterial enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor Materials)
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Kynurenic Acid Electrochemical Immunosensor: Blood-Based Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
Biosensors 2021, 11(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11010020 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a functional deterioration of the brain. Currently, there are selected biomarkers for its diagnosis in cerebrospinal fluid. However, its extraction has several disadvantages for the patient. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a functional deterioration of the brain. Currently, there are selected biomarkers for its diagnosis in cerebrospinal fluid. However, its extraction has several disadvantages for the patient. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a detection method using sensitive and selective blood-based biomarkers. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a potential biomarker candidate for this purpose. The alteration of the KYNA levels in blood has been related with inflammatory processes in the brain, produced as a protective function when neurons are damaged. This paper describes a novel electrochemical immunosensor for KYNA detection, based on successive functionalization multi-electrode array. The resultant sensor was characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The proposed biosensor detects KYNA within a linear calibration range from 10 pM to 100 nM using CA and EIS, obtaining a limit of detection (LOD) of 16.9 pM and 37.6 pM in buffer, respectively, being the lowest reported LOD for this biomarker. Moreover, to assess our device closer to the real application, the developed immunosensor was also tested under human serum matrix, obtaining an LOD of 391.71 pM for CA and 278.8 pM for EIS with diluted serum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Related Disorders)
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Communication
Detection of CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated Mutations Using a Carbon Nanotube-Modified Electrochemical Genosensor
Biosensors 2021, 11(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11010017 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3347
Abstract
The CRISPR-Cas9 system has facilitated the genetic modification of various model organisms and cell lines. The outcomes of any CRISPR-Cas9 assay should be investigated to ensure/improve the precision of genome engineering. In this study, carbon nanotube-modified disposable pencil graphite electrodes (CNT/PGEs) were used [...] Read more.
The CRISPR-Cas9 system has facilitated the genetic modification of various model organisms and cell lines. The outcomes of any CRISPR-Cas9 assay should be investigated to ensure/improve the precision of genome engineering. In this study, carbon nanotube-modified disposable pencil graphite electrodes (CNT/PGEs) were used to develop a label-free electrochemical nanogenosensor for the detection of point mutations generated in the genome by using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Carbodiimide chemistry was used to immobilize the 5′-aminohexyl-linked inosine-substituted probe on the surface of the sensor. After hybridization between the target sequence and probe at the sensor surface, guanine oxidation signals were monitored using differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). Optimization of the sensitivity of the nanogenoassay resulted in a lower detection limit of 213.7 nM. The nanogenosensor was highly specific for the detection of the precisely edited DNA sequence. This method allows for a rapid and easy investigation of the products of CRISPR-based gene editing and can be further developed to an array system for multiplex detection of different-gene editing outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of CRISPR Cas Systems for Biosensing)
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Article
Sandwich ELISA-Based Electrochemical Biosensor for Leptin in Control and Diet-Induced Obesity Mouse Model
Biosensors 2021, 11(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11010007 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Leptin is a peptide hormone produced primarily in adipose tissues. Leptin is considered a biomarker associated with obesity and obesity-mediated diseases. Biosensor detection of leptin in the blood may play a critical role as an indicator of dynamic pathological changes. In this paper, [...] Read more.
Leptin is a peptide hormone produced primarily in adipose tissues. Leptin is considered a biomarker associated with obesity and obesity-mediated diseases. Biosensor detection of leptin in the blood may play a critical role as an indicator of dynamic pathological changes. In this paper, we introduce an electrochemical biosensor that adopts o-Phenylenediamine (oPD) on screen-printed gold electrodes (SPGEs) for detecting the leptin from a mouse model of diet-induced obesity (DIO). A linear calibration curve for the leptin concentration was obtained in the ranges from 0.1 to 20 ng/mL with a lower detection limit of 0.033 ng/mL. The leptin concentration was quantified with HRP (horseradish peroxidase)-catalyzed oxidation of oPD by two voltammetry methods: cyclic voltammetry (CV) and square-wave voltammetry (SWV). The proposed sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based electrochemical biosensor for the leptin in mouse blood serum showed high stability, sensitivity, selectivity, and effectivity compared to the commercial Leptin ELISA measurement. Thus, we believe that this leptin biosensor can be a sensitive analytical tool to detect low-levels of biomarkers in clinics and point-of-care testing (POCT). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Article
An Electrochemical Aptasensor for Pb2+ Detection Based on Metal–Organic-Framework-Derived Hybrid Carbon
Biosensors 2021, 11(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11010001 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
A new double-shelled carbon nanocages material was synthesized and developed an aptasensor for determining Pb2+ in aqueous solution. Herein, nanoporous carbon materials derived from core–shell zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) demonstrated excellent electrochemical activity, stability, and high specificity surface area, consequently resulting in [...] Read more.
A new double-shelled carbon nanocages material was synthesized and developed an aptasensor for determining Pb2+ in aqueous solution. Herein, nanoporous carbon materials derived from core–shell zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) demonstrated excellent electrochemical activity, stability, and high specificity surface area, consequently resulting in the strong binding with aptamers. The aptamer strands would be induced to form G-quadruplex structure when Pb2+ was introduced. Under optimal conditions, the aptasensor exhibited a good linear relationship of Pb2+ concentration ranging from 0.1 to 10 μg L−1 with the detection limits of 0.096 μg L−1. The feasibility was proved by detecting Pb2+ in spiked water samples and polluted soil digestion solution. The proposed aptasensor showed excellent selectivity and reproducibility, indicating promising applications in environmental monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments for Efficient Rapid Bioassays)
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Article
Electrochemical Immunosensors Based on Screen-Printed Gold and Glassy Carbon Electrodes: Comparison of Performance for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Detection
Biosensors 2020, 10(11), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10110175 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
This paper presents the development and comparison of label-free electrochemical immunosensors based on screen-printed gold and glassy carbon (GC) disc electrodes for efficient and rapid detection of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Briefly, the antibody specific to the F protein of RSV was successfully [...] Read more.
This paper presents the development and comparison of label-free electrochemical immunosensors based on screen-printed gold and glassy carbon (GC) disc electrodes for efficient and rapid detection of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Briefly, the antibody specific to the F protein of RSV was successfully immobilized on modified electrodes. Antibody coupling on the Au surface was conducted via 4-aminothiophenol (4-ATP) and glutaraldehyde (GA). The GC surface was modified with poly-L-lysine (PLL) for direct anti-RSV conjugation after EDC/NHS (1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide/N-Hydroxysuccinimide) activation. Electrochemical characterizations of the immunosensors were carried out by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). GC-based immunosensors show a dynamic range of antigen detection from 1.0 × 105 PFU/mL to 1.5×107 PFU/mL, more than 1.0 × 105 PFU/mL to 1.0 × 107 PFU/mL for the Au-based sensor. However, the GC platform is less sensitive and shows a higher detection limit (LOD) for RSV. The limit of detection of the Au immunosensor is 1.1 × 103 PFU/mL, three orders of magnitude lower than 2.85 × 106 PFU/mL for GC. Thus, the Au-based immunosensor has better analytical performance for virus detection than a carbon-based platform due to high sensitivity and very low RSV detection, obtained with good reproducibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor and Bioelectronic Devices)
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Article
Fast Deoxynivalenol Determination in Cereals Using a White Light Reflectance Spectroscopy Immunosensor
Biosensors 2020, 10(11), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10110154 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin produced by certain Fusarium species and found in a high percentage of wheat and maize grains cultured worldwide. Although not so toxic as other mycotoxins, it exhibits both chronic and acute toxicity, and therefore methods for its fast [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin produced by certain Fusarium species and found in a high percentage of wheat and maize grains cultured worldwide. Although not so toxic as other mycotoxins, it exhibits both chronic and acute toxicity, and therefore methods for its fast and accurate on-site determination are highly desirable. In the current work, we employ an optical immunosensor based on White Light Reflectance Spectroscopy (WLRS) for the fast and sensitive immunochemical label-free determination of DON in wheat and maize samples. The assay is completed in 12 min and has a quantification limit of 2.5 ng/mL in buffer corresponding to 125 μg/kg in whole grain which is lower than the maximum allowable concentrations set by the regulatory authorities for grains intended for human consumption. Several extraction protocols have been compared, and the highest recovery (>90%) was achieved employing distilled water. In addition, identical calibration curves were received in buffer and wheat/maize extraction matrix providing the ability to analyze the grain samples using calibrators in buffer. Recoveries of DON from spiked wheat and maize grain samples ranged from 92.0(±4.0) to 105(±4.0)%. The analytical performance of the WLRS immunosensor, combined with the short analysis time and instrument portability, supports its potential for on-site determinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Optical and Photonic Biosensors)
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Article
Development of a Novel SPR Assay to Study CXCR4–Ligand Interactions
Biosensors 2020, 10(10), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10100150 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in a plethora of different diseases. Consequently, these proteins are considered as an important class of drug targets. Measuring detailed kinetic information on these types of proteins has been challenging. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) can provide this [...] Read more.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in a plethora of different diseases. Consequently, these proteins are considered as an important class of drug targets. Measuring detailed kinetic information on these types of proteins has been challenging. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) can provide this information, however, the use of SPR on GPCRs remains a complex issue. Here, we report an SPR assay to investigate the interactions between the full-length chemokine receptor CXCR4 and nanobody-Fc (Nb-Fc) ligands. Nb-Fcs consist of two monovalent VHH domains fused with an Fc domain of a human IgG molecule. The CXCR4 protein used in this assay was produced with a C-terminal 10x-histidine tag and was immobilized on a nitrilotriacetic acid chip. In order to verify the sensitivity and effectiveness of this assay, the results were compared to data obtained from cellular assays as well as from another SPR assay using CXCR4 virus-like particles (VLPs). CXCR4 remained intact and stable for at least 12 h, and the kinetic results correlated well with both the cellular assays and the VLP SPR assay results. Apart from determining the binding kinetics of Nb-Fc with CXCR4, our results contributed to understanding CXCR4 interaction dynamics. In conclusion, this assay provides a viable experimental platform that has high potential to be expanded for studying other molecules as well as other histidine-tagged GPCRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Article
Serum Analysis of Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer Using a Mini-Array of Tumor-Associated Antigens
Biosensors 2020, 10(10), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10100149 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Background: Several studies have shown that patients with cancer have antibodies in serum that react with cellular autoantigens, known as Tumor-Associated Antigens (TAA). The present work aimed to determine whether a mini-array comprising four recombinant TAA increases the detection of specific serum antibodies [...] Read more.
Background: Several studies have shown that patients with cancer have antibodies in serum that react with cellular autoantigens, known as Tumor-Associated Antigens (TAA). The present work aimed to determine whether a mini-array comprising four recombinant TAA increases the detection of specific serum antibodies for the diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer. Methods: The mini-array included Alpha 1-AntiTrypsin (A1AT), TriosePhosphate Isomerase 1 (TPI1), Peptidyl-Prolyl cis-trans Isomerase A (PPIA), and PeroxiReDoXin 2 (PRDX2) full-length recombinant proteins. The proteins were produced after gene cloning, expression, and purification, and were verified by Western blot assays. Then, Dot-Blot was performed to find antibodies against the four TAA in 12 sera from women with early-stage breast cancer (stage II) and 12 sera from healthy women. Results: Antibody detection against individual TAA in early-stage breast cancer sera ranged from 58.3% to 83.3%. However, evaluation of the four TAA showed that there was a positive antibody reaction reaching a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 85% in early-stage breast cancer, suggesting that this mini-array must be evaluated as a clinical diagnostic tool for early-stage breast cancer in a larger sample size. Conclusion: Our results suggest that TAA mini-arrays may provide a promising and powerful method for improving the detection of breast cancer in Mexican women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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Article
Nanofluidic Immobilization and Growth Detection of Escherichia coli in a Chip for Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing
Biosensors 2020, 10(10), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10100135 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Infections with antimicrobial resistant bacteria are a rising threat for global healthcare as more and more antibiotics lose their effectiveness against bacterial pathogens. To guarantee the long-term effectiveness of broad-spectrum antibiotics, they may only be prescribed when inevitably required. In order to make [...] Read more.
Infections with antimicrobial resistant bacteria are a rising threat for global healthcare as more and more antibiotics lose their effectiveness against bacterial pathogens. To guarantee the long-term effectiveness of broad-spectrum antibiotics, they may only be prescribed when inevitably required. In order to make a reliable assessment of which antibiotics are effective, rapid point-of-care tests are needed. This can be achieved with fast phenotypic microfluidic tests, which can cope with low bacterial concentrations and work label-free. Here, we present a novel optofluidic chip with a cross-flow immobilization principle using a regular array of nanogaps to concentrate bacteria and detect their growth label-free under the influence of antibiotics. The interferometric measuring principle enabled the detection of the growth of Escherichia coli in under 4 h with a sample volume of 187.2 µL and a doubling time of 79 min. In proof-of-concept experiments, we could show that the method can distinguish between bacterial growth and its inhibition by antibiotics. The results indicate that the nanofluidic chip approach provides a very promising concept for future rapid and label-free antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Photonic Biosensors)
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Article
Microfluidic-Based Electrochemical Immunosensing of Ferritin
Biosensors 2020, 10(8), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10080091 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3453
Abstract
Ferritin is a clinically important biomarker which reflects the state of iron in the body and is directly involved with anemia. Current methods available for ferritin estimation are generally not portable or they do not provide a fast response. To combat these issues, [...] Read more.
Ferritin is a clinically important biomarker which reflects the state of iron in the body and is directly involved with anemia. Current methods available for ferritin estimation are generally not portable or they do not provide a fast response. To combat these issues, an attempt was made for lab-on-a-chip-based electrochemical detection of ferritin, developed with an integrated electrochemically active screen-printed electrode (SPE), combining nanotechnology, microfluidics, and electrochemistry. The SPE surface was modified with amine-functionalized graphene oxide to facilitate the binding of ferritin antibodies on the electrode surface. The functionalized SPE was embedded in the microfluidic flow cell with a simple magnetic clamping mechanism to allow continuous electrochemical detection of ferritin. Ferritin detection was accomplished via cyclic voltammetry with a dynamic linear range from 7.81 to 500 ng·mL−1 and an LOD of 0.413 ng·mL−1. The sensor performance was verified with spiked human serum samples. Furthermore, the sensor was validated by comparing its response with the response of the conventional ELISA method. The current method of microfluidic flow cell-based electrochemical ferritin detection demonstrated promising sensitivity and selectivity. This confirmed the plausibility of using the reported technique in point-of-care testing applications at a much faster rate than conventional techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing)
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Article
Carbon-Coated Superparamagnetic Nanoflowers for Biosensors Based on Lateral Flow Immunoassays
Biosensors 2020, 10(8), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10080080 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2929
Abstract
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoflowers coated by a black carbon layer (Fe3O4@C) were studied as labels in lateral flow immunoassays. They were synthesized by a one-pot solvothermal route, and they were characterized (size, morphology, chemical composition, and magnetic properties). They [...] Read more.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoflowers coated by a black carbon layer (Fe3O4@C) were studied as labels in lateral flow immunoassays. They were synthesized by a one-pot solvothermal route, and they were characterized (size, morphology, chemical composition, and magnetic properties). They consist of several superparamagnetic cores embedded in a carbon coating holding carboxylic groups adequate for bioconjugation. Their multi-core structure is especially efficient for magnetic separation while keeping suitable magnetic properties and appropriate size for immunoassay reporters. Their functionality was tested with a model system based on the biotin–neutravidin interaction. For this, the nanoparticles were conjugated to neutravidin using the carbodiimide chemistry, and the lateral flow immunoassay was carried out with a biotin test line. Quantification was achieved with both an inductive magnetic sensor and a reflectance reader. In order to further investigate the quantifying capacity of the Fe3O4@C nanoflowers, the magnetic lateral flow immunoassay was tested as a detection system for extracellular vesicles (EVs), a novel source of biomarkers with interest for liquid biopsy. A clear correlation between the extracellular vesicle concentration and the signal proved the potential of the nanoflowers as quantifying labels. The limit of detection in a rapid test for EVs was lower than the values reported before for other magnetic nanoparticle labels in the working range 0–3 × 107 EVs/μL. The method showed a reproducibility (RSD) of 3% (n = 3). The lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) rapid test developed in this work yielded to satisfactory results for EVs quantification by using a precipitation kit and also directly in plasma samples. Besides, these Fe3O4@C nanoparticles are easy to concentrate by means of a magnet, and this feature makes them promising candidates to further reduce the limit of detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose-Based Biosensing Platforms)
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Article
Flexible and Transparent Substrates Based on Gold Nanoparticles and TiO2 for in Situ Bioanalysis by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040145 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
Flexible and transparent substrates are emerging as low cost and easy-to-operate support for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). In particular, in situ SERS detection approach for surface characterization in transmission modality can be efficiently employed for non-invasive analysis of non-planar surfaces. Here we propose [...] Read more.
Flexible and transparent substrates are emerging as low cost and easy-to-operate support for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). In particular, in situ SERS detection approach for surface characterization in transmission modality can be efficiently employed for non-invasive analysis of non-planar surfaces. Here we propose a new methodology to fabricate a homogenous, transparent, and flexible SERS membrane by the assistance of a thin TiO2 porous layer deposited on the PDMS surface, which supports the uniform loading of gold nanoparticles over large area. The substrate was first characterized for homogeneity, sensitivity and repeatability using a model molecule for SERS, i.e., 7-mercapto-4-methylcoumarin. Satisfactory intra-substrate uniformity and inter-substrates repeatability was achieved, showing an RSD of 10%, and an analytical sensitivity down to 10 nM was determined with an EF of 3.4 × 105 ± 0.4 × 105. Furthermore, SERS detection of pyrimethanil (PMT), a commonly employed pesticide in crops for human consumption, was performed in situ, exploiting the optical transparency of the device, using both model surfaces and non-flat bio-samples. PMT contamination at the phytochemical concentration levels corresponding to commonly used infield doses was successfully detected on the surface of the yellow Ficus benjiamina leaves, supporting the use of this substrate for food safety in-field application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic and Photonic Biosensors)
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Article
Establishing a Field-Effect Transistor Sensor for the Detection of Mutations in the Tumour Protein 53 Gene (TP53)—An Electrochemical Optimisation Approach
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040141 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3887
Abstract
We present a low-cost, sensitive and specific DNA field-effect transistor sensor for the rapid detection of a common mutation to the tumour protein 53 gene (TP53). The sensor consists of a commercially available, low-cost, field-effect transistor attached in series to a gold electrode [...] Read more.
We present a low-cost, sensitive and specific DNA field-effect transistor sensor for the rapid detection of a common mutation to the tumour protein 53 gene (TP53). The sensor consists of a commercially available, low-cost, field-effect transistor attached in series to a gold electrode sensing pad for DNA hybridisation. The sensor has been predominantly optimised electrochemically, particularly with respect to open-circuit potentiometry as a route towards understanding potential (voltage) changes upon DNA hybridisation using a transistor. The developed sensor responds sensitively to TP53 mutant DNA as low as 100 nM concentration. The sensor responds linearly as a function of DNA target concentration and is able to differentiate between complementary and noncomplementary DNA target sequences. Full article
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Article
Fast Identification of Bacteria for Quality Control of Drinking Water through a Static Headspace Sampler Coupled to a Sensory Perception System
Biosensors 2019, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9010023 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3770
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop and implement a methodology composed by a Static Head-Space-Sampler (SHS) coupled to a Sensory Perception System (SPS) for the extraction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) emitted by bacterial species in the water. The SPS was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop and implement a methodology composed by a Static Head-Space-Sampler (SHS) coupled to a Sensory Perception System (SPS) for the extraction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) emitted by bacterial species in the water. The SPS was performed by means of a chamber of 16 Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) gas sensors and a software with pattern recognition methods for the detection and identification of bacteria. At first, the tests were conducted from the sterile and polluted water with the Escherichia coli bacteria and modifying the incubation temperatures (50 °C, 70 °C and 90 °C), with the objective to obtain an optimal temperature for the distinguishing of species. Furthermore, the capacity of the methodology to distinguish the important compounds was assessed, in this case, E. coli and other bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella oxytoca, which formed similar analytes. The validation of the proposed methodology was done by acquiring water samples from different unitary operations of an aqueduct of the municipality of Toledo (North of Santander, Colombia), which were analyzed by the membrane filter technique in the laboratories of the University of Pamplona, along with the SHS-SPS system. The results showed that it was possible to distinguish polluted water samples in a fast way through the sensory measurement equipment using pattern recognition techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) and a probabilistic neural network (PNN), where a 95% of differentiation was obtained through PCA and 100% of the classification with DFA. The PNN network achieved the 86.6% of success rate with the cross-validation technique “leave one out”. Full article
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Review

Review
Applications of Microfluidics in Liquid Crystal-Based Biosensors
Biosensors 2021, 11(10), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11100385 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
Liquid crystals (LCs) with stimuli-responsive configuration transition and optical anisotropic properties have attracted enormous interest in the development of simple and label-free biosensors. The combination of microfluidics and the LCs offers great advantages over traditional LC-based biosensors including small sample consumption, fast analysis [...] Read more.
Liquid crystals (LCs) with stimuli-responsive configuration transition and optical anisotropic properties have attracted enormous interest in the development of simple and label-free biosensors. The combination of microfluidics and the LCs offers great advantages over traditional LC-based biosensors including small sample consumption, fast analysis and low cost. Moreover, microfluidic techniques provide a promising tool to fabricate uniform and reproducible LC-based sensing platforms. In this review, we emphasize the recent development of microfluidics in the fabrication and integration of LC-based biosensors, including LC planar sensing platforms and LC droplets. Fabrication and integration of LC-based planar platforms with microfluidics for biosensing applications are first introduced. The generation and entrapment of monodisperse LC droplets with different microfluidic structures, as well as their applications in the detection of chemical and biological species, are then summarized. Finally, the challenges and future perspectives of the development of LC-based microfluidic biosensors are proposed. This review will promote the understanding of microfluidic techniques in LC-based biosensors and facilitate the development of LC-based microfluidic biosensing devices with high performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors Based on Microfluidic Devices)
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Review
Application of Functionalized Graphene Oxide Based Biosensors for Health Monitoring: Simple Graphene Derivatives to 3D Printed Platforms
Biosensors 2021, 11(10), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11100384 - 10 Oct 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
Biosensors hold great potential for revolutionizing personalized medicine and environmental monitoring. Their construction is the key factor which depends on either manufacturing techniques or robust sensing materials to improve efficacy of the device. Functional graphene is an attractive choice for transducing material due [...] Read more.
Biosensors hold great potential for revolutionizing personalized medicine and environmental monitoring. Their construction is the key factor which depends on either manufacturing techniques or robust sensing materials to improve efficacy of the device. Functional graphene is an attractive choice for transducing material due to its various advantages in interfacing with biorecognition elements. Graphene and its derivatives such as graphene oxide (GO) are thus being used extensively for biosensors for monitoring of diseases. In addition, graphene can be patterned to a variety of structures and is incorporated into biosensor devices such as microfluidic devices and electrochemical and plasmonic sensors. Among biosensing materials, GO is gaining much attention due to its easy synthesis process and patternable features, high functionality, and high electron transfer properties with a large surface area leading to sensitive point-of-use applications. Considering demand and recent challenges, this perspective review is an attempt to describe state-of-the-art biosensors based on functional graphene. Special emphasis is given to elucidating the mechanism of sensing while discussing different applications. Further, we describe the future prospects of functional GO-based biosensors for health care and environmental monitoring with a focus on additive manufacturing such as 3D printing. Full article
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Review
A Review of THz Technologies for Rapid Sensing and Detection of Viruses including SARS-CoV-2
Biosensors 2021, 11(10), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11100349 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1806
Abstract
Virus epidemics such as Ebola virus, Zika virus, MERS-coronavirus, and others have wreaked havoc on humanity in the last decade. In addition, a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and its continuously evolving mutants have become so deadly that they have forced the entire technical advancement [...] Read more.
Virus epidemics such as Ebola virus, Zika virus, MERS-coronavirus, and others have wreaked havoc on humanity in the last decade. In addition, a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and its continuously evolving mutants have become so deadly that they have forced the entire technical advancement of healthcare into peril. Traditional ways of detecting these viruses have been successful to some extent, but they are costly, time-consuming, and require specialized human resources. Terahertz-based biosensors have the potential to lead the way for low-cost, non-invasive, and rapid virus detection. This review explores the latest progresses in terahertz technology-based biosensors for the virus, viral particle, and antigen detection, as well as upcoming research directions in the field. Full article
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Review
Electroanalytical Overview: Electrochemical Sensing Platforms for Food and Drink Safety
Biosensors 2021, 11(8), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11080291 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1584
Abstract
Robust, reliable, and affordable analytical techniques are essential for screening and monitoring food and water safety from contaminants, pathogens, and allergens that might be harmful upon consumption. Recent advances in decentralised, miniaturised, and rapid tests for health and environmental monitoring can provide an [...] Read more.
Robust, reliable, and affordable analytical techniques are essential for screening and monitoring food and water safety from contaminants, pathogens, and allergens that might be harmful upon consumption. Recent advances in decentralised, miniaturised, and rapid tests for health and environmental monitoring can provide an alternative solution to the classic laboratory-based analytical techniques currently utilised. Electrochemical biosensors offer a promising option as portable sensing platforms to expedite the transition from laboratory benchtop to on-site analysis. A plethora of electroanalytical sensor platforms have been produced for the detection of small molecules, proteins, and microorganisms vital to ensuring food and drink safety. These utilise various recognition systems, from direct electrochemical redox processes to biological recognition elements such as antibodies, enzymes, and aptamers; however, further exploration needs to be carried out, with many systems requiring validation against standard benchtop laboratory-based techniques to offer increased confidence in the sensing platforms. This short review demonstrates that electroanalytical biosensors already offer a sensitive, fast, and low-cost sensor platform for food and drink safety monitoring. With continued research into the development of these sensors, increased confidence in the safety of food and drink products for manufacturers, policy makers, and end users will result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Environmental Monitoring and Food Safety)
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Review
Two-Dimensional Material-Based Colorimetric Biosensors: A Review
Biosensors 2021, 11(8), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11080259 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene, graphene oxide, transition metal oxide, MXene and others have shown high potential for the design and fabrication of various sensors and biosensors due to their 2D layered structure and unique properties. Compared to traditional fluorescent, electrochemical, and [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene, graphene oxide, transition metal oxide, MXene and others have shown high potential for the design and fabrication of various sensors and biosensors due to their 2D layered structure and unique properties. Compared to traditional fluorescent, electrochemical, and electrical biosensors, colorimetric biosensors exhibit several advantages including naked-eye determination, low cost, quick response, and easy fabrication. In this review, we present recent advances in the design, fabrication, and applications of 2D material-based high-performance colorimetric biosensors. Potential colorimetric sensing mechanisms and optimal material selection as well as sensor fabrication are introduced in brief. In addition, colorimetric biosensors based on different 2D materials such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenide/oxide, MXenes, metal–organic frameworks, and metal nanoplates for the sensitive detection of DNA, proteins, viruses, small molecules, metallic ions, and others are presented and discussed in detail. This work will be helpful for readers to understand the knowledge of 2D material modification, nanozymes, and the synthesis of hybrid materials; meanwhile, it could be valuable to promote the design, fabrication, and applications of 2D material-based sensors and biosensors in quick bioanalysis and disease diagnostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Last Advances in Optical Biosensors)
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Review
Wearable Biosensors for Non-Invasive Sweat Diagnostics
by , and
Biosensors 2021, 11(8), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11080245 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 5197
Abstract
Recent advances in microfluidics, microelectronics, and electrochemical sensing methods have steered the way for the development of novel and potential wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring. Wearable bioelectronics has received tremendous attention worldwide due to its great a potential for predictive medical modeling and [...] Read more.
Recent advances in microfluidics, microelectronics, and electrochemical sensing methods have steered the way for the development of novel and potential wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring. Wearable bioelectronics has received tremendous attention worldwide due to its great a potential for predictive medical modeling and allowing for personalized point-of-care-testing (POCT). They possess many appealing characteristics, for example, lightweight, flexibility, good stretchability, conformability, and low cost. These characteristics make wearable bioelectronics a promising platform for personalized devices. In this paper, we review recent progress in flexible and wearable sensors for non-invasive biomonitoring using sweat as the bio-fluid. Real-time and molecular-level monitoring of personal health states can be achieved with sweat-based or perspiration-based wearable biosensors. The suitability of sweat and its potential in healthcare monitoring, sweat extraction, and the challenges encountered in sweat-based analysis are summarized. The paper also discusses challenges that still hinder the full-fledged development of sweat-based wearables and presents the areas of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Diagnosis and Monitoring)
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Review
Plasmonic Biosensors for Single-Molecule Biomedical Analysis
Biosensors 2021, 11(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11040123 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2416
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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Review
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
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2514
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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Review
Electrochemical Biosensors for Cytokine Profiling: Recent Advancements and Possibilities in the Near Future
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030094 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Cytokines are soluble proteins secreted by immune cells that act as molecular messengers relaying instructions and mediating various functions performed by the cellular counterparts of the immune system, by means of a synchronized cascade of signaling pathways. Aberrant expression of cytokines can be [...] Read more.
Cytokines are soluble proteins secreted by immune cells that act as molecular messengers relaying instructions and mediating various functions performed by the cellular counterparts of the immune system, by means of a synchronized cascade of signaling pathways. Aberrant expression of cytokines can be indicative of anomalous behavior of the immunoregulatory system, as seen in various illnesses and conditions, such as cancer, autoimmunity, neurodegeneration and other physiological disorders. Cancer and autoimmune diseases are particularly adept at developing mechanisms to escape and modulate the immune system checkpoints, reflected by an altered cytokine profile. Cytokine profiling can provide valuable information for diagnosing such diseases and monitoring their progression, as well as assessing the efficacy of immunotherapeutic regiments. Toward this goal, there has been immense interest in the development of ultrasensitive quantitative detection techniques for cytokines, which involves technologies from various scientific disciplines, such as immunology, electrochemistry, photometry, nanotechnology and electronics. This review focusses on one aspect of this collective effort: electrochemical biosensors. Among the various types of biosensors available, electrochemical biosensors are one of the most reliable, user-friendly, easy to manufacture, cost-effective and versatile technologies that can yield results within a short period of time, making it extremely promising for routine clinical testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Rapid Diagnostics)
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Review
An Overview of Bio-Inspired Intelligent Imprinted Polymers for Virus Determination
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030089 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
The molecular imprinting polymers (MIPs) have shown their potential in various applications including pharmaceuticals, chemical sensing and biosensing, medical diagnosis, and environmental related issues, owing to their artificial selective biomimetic recognition ability. Despite the challenges posed in the imprinting and recognition of biomacromolecules, [...] Read more.
The molecular imprinting polymers (MIPs) have shown their potential in various applications including pharmaceuticals, chemical sensing and biosensing, medical diagnosis, and environmental related issues, owing to their artificial selective biomimetic recognition ability. Despite the challenges posed in the imprinting and recognition of biomacromolecules, the use of MIP for the imprinting of large biomolecular oragnism such as viruses is of huge interest because of the necessity of early diagnosis of virus-induced diseases for clinical and point-of-care (POC) purposes. Thus, many fascinating works have been documented in which such synthetic systems undoubtedly explore a variety of potential implementations, from virus elimination, purification, and diagnosis to virus and bacteria-borne disease therapy. This study is focused comprehensively on the fabrication strategies and their usage in many virus-imprinted works that have appeared in the literature. The drawbacks, challenges, and perspectives are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensor Materials)
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Review
Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Quantum Dot Materials in Optical Sensors: An Overview of Their Synthesis and Applications
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030079 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1916
Abstract
In the last decades analytical methods have focused on the determination of target analytes at very low concentration levels. This has been accomplished through the use of traditional analytical methods that usually require high reagent consumption, expensive equipment and long pretreatment steps. Thus, [...] Read more.
In the last decades analytical methods have focused on the determination of target analytes at very low concentration levels. This has been accomplished through the use of traditional analytical methods that usually require high reagent consumption, expensive equipment and long pretreatment steps. Thus, there is a demand for simple, rapid, highly selective and user-friendly detection procedures. Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor fluorescent nanomaterials with unique optoelectronic properties that have shown great potential for the development of fluorescence probes. Besides, the combination of QDs with molecularly imprinted polymer (MIPs), synthetic materials with selective recognition, have been proposed as useful materials in the development of optical sensors. The resulting MIP-QDs optical sensors integrate the advantages of both techniques: the high sensitivity of QDs-based fluorescence sensors and the high selectivity of MIPs. This review gives a brief overview of the strategies for the synthesis of MIPs-QDs based optical sensors, highlighting the modifications in the synthesis procedure that improve the sensor performance. Finally, a revision of recent applications in sensing and bioimaging is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) Biosensors)
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Review
A Review on SERS-Based Detection of Human Virus Infections: Influenza and Coronavirus
Biosensors 2021, 11(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11030066 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3844
Abstract
The diagnosis of respiratory viruses of zoonotic origin (RVsZO) such as influenza and coronaviruses in humans is crucial, because their spread and pandemic threat are the highest. Surface–enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is an analytical technique with promising impact for the point–of–care diagnosis of [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of respiratory viruses of zoonotic origin (RVsZO) such as influenza and coronaviruses in humans is crucial, because their spread and pandemic threat are the highest. Surface–enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is an analytical technique with promising impact for the point–of–care diagnosis of viruses. It has been applied to a variety of influenza A virus subtypes, such as the H1N1 and the novel coronavirus SARS−CoV−2. In this work, a review of the strategies used for the detection of RVsZO by SERS is presented. In addition, relevant information about the SERS technique, anthropozoonosis, and RVsZO is provided for a better understanding of the theme. The direct identification is based on trapping the viruses within the interstices of plasmonic nanoparticles and recording the SERS signal from gene fragments or membrane proteins. Quantitative mono- and multiplexed assays have been achieved following an indirect format through a SERS-based sandwich immunoassay. Based on this review, the development of multiplex assays that incorporate the detection of RVsZO together with their specific biomarkers and/or secondary disease biomarkers resulting from the infection progress would be desirable. These configurations could be used as a double confirmation or to evaluate the health condition of the patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors for Healthcare and Disease Diagnosis)
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Review
Interfacing DNA with Gold Nanoparticles for Heavy Metal Detection
Biosensors 2020, 10(11), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10110167 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
The contamination of heavy metals (e.g., Hg, Pb, Cd and As) poses great risks to the environment and human health. Rapid and simple detection of heavy metals of considerable toxicity in low concentration levels is an important task in biological and environmental analysis. [...] Read more.
The contamination of heavy metals (e.g., Hg, Pb, Cd and As) poses great risks to the environment and human health. Rapid and simple detection of heavy metals of considerable toxicity in low concentration levels is an important task in biological and environmental analysis. Among the many convenient detection methods for heavy metals, DNA-inspired gold nanoparticles (DNA-AuNPs) have become a well-established approach, in which assembly/disassembly of AuNPs is used for colorimetric signaling of the recognition event between DNA and target heavy metals at the AuNP interface. This review focuses on the recent efforts of employing DNA to manipulate the interfacial properties of AuNPs, as well as the major advances in the colorimetric detection of heavy metals. Beginning with the introduction of the fundamental aspects of DNA and AuNPs, three main strategies of constructing DNA-AuNPs with DNA binding-responsive interface are discussed, namely, crosslinking, electrostatic interaction and base pair stacking. Then, recent achievements in colorimetric biosensing of heavy metals based on manipulation of the interface of DNA-AuNPs are surveyed and compared. Finally, perspectives on challenges and opportunities for future research in this field are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Nanoplasmonic Technologies in Biosensors)
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Review
Progress of Advanced Nanomaterials in the Non-Enzymatic Electrochemical Sensing of Glucose and H2O2
Biosensors 2020, 10(11), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10110151 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2595
Abstract
Non-enzymatic sensing has been in the research limelight, and most sensors based on nanomaterials are designed to detect single analytes. The simultaneous detection of analytes that together exist in biological organisms necessitates the development of effective and efficient non-enzymatic electrodes in sensing. In [...] Read more.
Non-enzymatic sensing has been in the research limelight, and most sensors based on nanomaterials are designed to detect single analytes. The simultaneous detection of analytes that together exist in biological organisms necessitates the development of effective and efficient non-enzymatic electrodes in sensing. In this regard, the development of sensing elements for detecting glucose and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is significant. Non-enzymatic sensing is more economical and has a longer lifetime than enzymatic electrochemical sensing, but it has several drawbacks, such as high working potential, slow electrode kinetics, poisoning from intermediate species and weak sensing parameters. We comprehensively review the recent developments in non-enzymatic glucose and H2O2 (NEGH) sensing by focusing mainly on the sensing performance, electro catalytic mechanism, morphology and design of electrode materials. Various types of nanomaterials with metal/metal oxides and hybrid metallic nanocomposites are discussed. A comparison of glucose and H2O2 sensing parameters using the same electrode materials is outlined to predict the efficient sensing performance of advanced nanomaterials. Recent innovative approaches to improve the NEGH sensitivity, selectivity and stability in real-time applications are critically discussed, which have not been sufficiently addressed in the previous reviews. Finally, the challenges, future trends, and prospects associated with advanced nanomaterials for NEGH sensing are considered. We believe this article will help to understand the selection of advanced materials for dual/multi non-enzymatic sensing issues and will also be beneficial for researchers to make breakthrough progress in the area of non-enzymatic sensing of dual/multi biomolecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance Nanomaterials for Biosensors)
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Review
Point of Care Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings: A Review of the Present and Future of PoC in Its Most Needed Environment
Biosensors 2020, 10(10), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10100133 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Point of care (PoC) diagnostics are at the focus of government initiatives, NGOs and fundamental research alike. In high-income countries, the hope is to streamline the diagnostic procedure, minimize costs and make healthcare processes more efficient and faster, which, in some cases, can [...] Read more.
Point of care (PoC) diagnostics are at the focus of government initiatives, NGOs and fundamental research alike. In high-income countries, the hope is to streamline the diagnostic procedure, minimize costs and make healthcare processes more efficient and faster, which, in some cases, can be more a matter of convenience than necessity. However, in resource-limited settings such as low-income countries, PoC-diagnostics might be the only viable route, when the next laboratory is hours away. Therefore, it is especially important to focus research into novel diagnostics for these countries in order to alleviate suffering due to infectious disease. In this review, the current research describing the use of PoC diagnostics in resource-limited settings and the potential bottlenecks along the value chain that prevent their widespread application is summarized. To this end, we will look at literature that investigates different parts of the value chain, such as fundamental research and market economics, as well as actual use at healthcare providers. We aim to create an integrated picture of potential PoC barriers, from the first start of research at universities to patient treatment in the field. Results from the literature will be discussed with the aim to bring all important steps and aspects together in order to illustrate how effectively PoC is being used in low-income countries. In addition, we discuss what is needed to improve the situation further, in order to use this technology to its fullest advantage and avoid “leaks in the pipeline”, when a promising device fails to take the next step of the valorization pathway and is abandoned. Full article
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Review
Recent Advances in Portable Biosensors for Biomarker Detection in Body Fluids
Biosensors 2020, 10(9), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10090127 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3195
Abstract
A recent development in portable biosensors allows rapid, accurate, and on-site detection of biomarkers, which helps to prevent disease spread by the control of sources. Less invasive sample collection is necessary to use portable biosensors in remote environments for accurate on-site diagnostics and [...] Read more.
A recent development in portable biosensors allows rapid, accurate, and on-site detection of biomarkers, which helps to prevent disease spread by the control of sources. Less invasive sample collection is necessary to use portable biosensors in remote environments for accurate on-site diagnostics and testing. For non- or minimally invasive sampling, easily accessible body fluids, such as saliva, sweat, blood, or urine, have been utilized. It is also imperative to find accurate biomarkers to provide better clinical intervention and treatment at the onset of disease. At the same time, these reliable biomarkers can be utilized to monitor the progress of the disease. In this review, we summarize the most recent development of portable biosensors to detect various biomarkers accurately. In addition, we discuss ongoing issues and limitations of the existing systems and methods. Lastly, we present the key requirements of portable biosensors and discuss ideas for functional enhancements. Full article
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Review
Electronic Nose as a Novel Method for Diagnosing Cancer: A Systematic Review
Biosensors 2020, 10(8), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10080084 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3574
Abstract
Cancer is fast becoming the most important cause of death worldwide, its mortality being mostly caused by late or wrong diagnosis. Novel strategies have been developed to identify early signs of cancer in a minimally obtrusive way, including the Electronic Nose (E-Nose) technology, [...] Read more.
Cancer is fast becoming the most important cause of death worldwide, its mortality being mostly caused by late or wrong diagnosis. Novel strategies have been developed to identify early signs of cancer in a minimally obtrusive way, including the Electronic Nose (E-Nose) technology, user-friendly, cost- and time-saving alternative to classical approaches. This systematic review, conducted under the PRISMA guidelines, identified 60 articles directly dealing with the E-Nose application in cancer research published up to 31 January 2020. Among these works, the vast majority reported successful E-Nose use for diagnosing Lung Cancer, showing promising results especially when employing the Aeonose tool, discriminating subjects with Lung Cancer from controls in more than 80% of individuals, in most studies. In order to tailor the main limitations of the proposed approach, including the application of the protocol to advanced stage of cancer, sample heterogeneity and massive confounders, future studies should be conducted on early stage patients, and on larger cohorts, as to better characterize the specific breathprint associated with the various subtypes of cancer. This would ultimately lead to a better and faster diagnosis and to earlier treatment, possibly reducing the burden associated to such conditions. Full article
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Review
Sniffing Out Urinary Tract Infection—Diagnosis Based on Volatile Organic Compounds and Smell Profile
Biosensors 2020, 10(8), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10080083 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3593
Abstract
Current available methods for the clinical diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) rely on a urine dipstick test or culturing of pathogens. The dipstick test is rapid (available in 1–2 min), but has a low positive predictive value, while culturing is time-consuming and [...] Read more.
Current available methods for the clinical diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) rely on a urine dipstick test or culturing of pathogens. The dipstick test is rapid (available in 1–2 min), but has a low positive predictive value, while culturing is time-consuming and delays diagnosis (24–72 h between sample collection and pathogen identification). Due to this delay, broad-spectrum antibiotics are often prescribed immediately. The over-prescription of antibiotics should be limited, in order to prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance. As a result, there is a growing need for alternative diagnostic tools. This paper reviews applications of chemical-analysis instruments, such as gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS), selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS), ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) and electronic noses (eNoses) used for the diagnosis of UTI. These methods analyse volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emanate from the headspace of collected urine samples to identify the bacterial pathogen and even determine the causative agent’s resistance to different antibiotics. There is great potential for these technologies to gain wide-spread and routine use in clinical settings, since the analysis can be automated, and test results can be available within minutes after sample collection. This could significantly reduce the necessity to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics and allow the faster and more effective use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors and Healthcare)
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