Special Issue "The Potential of (bio)sensors for the Forensic Sciences"

A special issue of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Kevin C. Honeychurch
Website
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Chemistry, Centre for Research in Biosciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
Interests: screen-printed electrodes, electrochemical sensors, biosensors, biomedicine, forensic science, environmental analysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is essential to have efficient and accurate methods to detect and record evidence in criminal investigations such as in seized street samples, biological fluids, gunshot residues, and a wide range of other evidence types. The complexity of the crime scene offers a number of analytical challenges. Presently, many techniques are focused on either presumptive testing or the collection of samples and their subsequent analyses at a centralised laboratory. At present, sensor technology has not made a great impact on this field. However, this is something that will likely change in the near future.

The application sensors and biosensors have shown the possibility of economic, rapid, and decentralised testing of complex samples, which can be undertaken by untrained individuals in the field and represent a large potential market and a significant opportunity for the forensic sciences. Nevertheless, there are a number of both technical and legal issues that need to be addressed before these devices can play a significant role.

The aim of this Special Issue of Biosensors, “The Potential of (Bio)sensors for the Forensic Sciences.” is to report recent developments and advances in sensor-based applications and technology to meet the demands of forensic science. The objective of this Issue is to collect a series of articles that show the development and application of sensors and biosensors in this area. It is envisaged that this will cover a wide range of areas, including electrochemical and non-electrochemically-based sensors employing both classical and advanced techniques, biosensors based on enzymes, antibodies, DNA, aptamers, molecularly imprinted polymers, and the application of nanotechnology. The combination of sensors with other techniques is also considered.

Dr. Kevin C. Honeychurch
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biosensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessReview
Review of Electroanalytical-Based Approaches for the Determination of Benzodiazepines
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040130 - 02 Nov 2019
Abstract
The benzodiazepine class of drugs are characterised by a readily electrochemically reducible azomethine group. A number are also substituted by other electrochemically active nitro, N-oxide, and carbonyl groups, making them readily accessible to electrochemical determination. Techniques such as polarography, voltammetry, and potentiometry have [...] Read more.
The benzodiazepine class of drugs are characterised by a readily electrochemically reducible azomethine group. A number are also substituted by other electrochemically active nitro, N-oxide, and carbonyl groups, making them readily accessible to electrochemical determination. Techniques such as polarography, voltammetry, and potentiometry have been employed for pharmaceutical and biomedical samples, requiring little sample preparation. This review describes current developments in the design and applications of electrochemical-based approaches for the determination of the benzodiazepine class of drugs form their introduction in the early 1960s to 2019. Throughout this period, state-of-the-art electroanalytical techniques have been reported for their determination. Polarography was first employed focused on mechanistic investigations. Subsequent studies showed the adsorption of many the benzodiazepines at Hg electrodes allowed for the highly sensitive technique of adsorptive stripping voltammetry to be employed. The development and introduction of other working electrode materials such as carbon led to techniques such as voltammetry to become commonly reported, and the modification of these electrodes has now become the most commonly employed approach using molecularly imprinting and nanotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Potential of (bio)sensors for the Forensic Sciences)
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Open AccessReview
What Electrochemical Biosensors Can Do for Forensic Science? Unique Features and Applications
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040127 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This article critically discusses the latest advances in the use of voltammetric, amperometric, potentiometric, and impedimetric biosensors for forensic analysis. Highlighted examples that show the advantages of these tools to develop methods capable of detecting very small concentrations of analytes and provide selective [...] Read more.
This article critically discusses the latest advances in the use of voltammetric, amperometric, potentiometric, and impedimetric biosensors for forensic analysis. Highlighted examples that show the advantages of these tools to develop methods capable of detecting very small concentrations of analytes and provide selective determinations through analytical responses, without significant interferences from other components of the samples, are presented and discussed, thus stressing the great versatility and utility of electrochemical biosensors in this growing research field. To illustrate this, the determination of substances with forensic relevance by using electrochemical biosensors reported in the last five years (2015–2019) are reviewed. The different configurations of enzyme or affinity biosensors used to solve analytical problems related to forensic practice, with special attention to applications in complex samples, are considered. Main prospects, challenges to focus, such as the fabrication of devices for rapid analysis of target analytes directly on-site at the crime scene, or their widespread use and successful applications to complex samples of interest in forensic analysis, and future efforts, are also briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Potential of (bio)sensors for the Forensic Sciences)
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Open AccessReview
A Bottom-Up Approach for Developing Aptasensors for Abused Drugs: Biosensors in Forensics
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040118 - 01 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Aptamer-based point-of-care (POC) diagnostics platforms may be of substantial benefit in forensic analysis as they provide rapid, sensitive, user-friendly, and selective analysis tools for detection. Aptasensors have not yet been adapted commercially. However, the significance of the applications of aptasensors in the literature [...] Read more.
Aptamer-based point-of-care (POC) diagnostics platforms may be of substantial benefit in forensic analysis as they provide rapid, sensitive, user-friendly, and selective analysis tools for detection. Aptasensors have not yet been adapted commercially. However, the significance of the applications of aptasensors in the literature exceeded their potential. Herein, in this review, a bottom-up approach is followed to describe the aptasensor development and application procedure, starting from the synthesis of the corresponding aptamer sequence for the selected analyte to creating a smart surface for the sensitive detection of the molecule of interest. Optical and electrochemical biosensing platforms, which are designed with aptamers as recognition molecules, detecting abused drugs are critically reviewed, and existing and possible applications of different designs are discussed. Several potential disciplines in which aptamer-based biosensing technology can be of greatest value, including forensic drug analysis and biological evidence, are then highlighted to encourage researchers to focus on developing aptasensors in these specific areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Potential of (bio)sensors for the Forensic Sciences)
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