Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing

A special issue of Chemosensors (ISSN 2227-9040). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials for Chemical Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 23480

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Materials Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Interests: chemical and biological sensors; optical sensors; noble metal nanomaterials; catalysis; plasmonics; microfluidics; disease diagnosis; environmental monitoring
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Guest Editor
Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Interests: analytical chemistry; colorimetric biosensors; bioremediation; atomic spectrometry
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Guest Editor
Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Granada, Unidad de Excelencia en Quimica Aplicada a Biomedicina y Medioambiente (UEQ), Cartuja Campus, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: fluorescence; FLIM; photochemistry; photobiology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Colorimetric sensors have been recognized as one of the most widely used analytical techniques for applications in many fields (e.g., disease diagnosis, environmental monitoring, and food safety analysis) owing to their important advantages, e.g., simplicity, convenience, low cost, practicality, and visual detection. Unfortunately, most of them still suffer from low sensitivity, low visual resolution, low selectivity, etc. To address these issues, recent research has looked to develop innovative signal transduction technologies by coupling with various advanced nanomaterials and controlling their performances in a very predictable manner to satisfy the specific requirements of colorimetric sensing. Specifically, nanomaterials have lots of unique features that make them very attractive for colorimetric sensing. For example, they possess various excellent physicochemical properties, including optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic activties. They can be easily functionalized through chemical modification. They can be readily prepared with good uniformities in size, shape, elemental composition, and surface structure.

The aim of this Special Issue is therefore to highlight enhanced colorimetric sensing techniques using advanced nanomaterials. Topics in this Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Design of novel colorimetric sensors with enhanced performance using nanomaterials;
  • New sensing principles for nanomaterial-based colorimetric sensors;
  • Emerging applications of nanomaterial-based colorimetric sensors;
  • Applications of innovative and advanced nanomaterials in colorimetric sensing;
  • Design, synthesis, and characterization of novel nanomaterials with new properties that have promising potentials in colorimetric sensing.

Both review and research articles will be considered.

Dr. Zhuangqiang Gao
Dr. Philip Gardiner
Dr. Luis Crovetto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Chemosensors 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 2700 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.

Keywords

  • Colorimetric sensing
  • Chemical and biological sensors
  • Nanomaterials
  • Signal transduction
  • Catalysis
  • Plasmonics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 17014 KiB  
Article
Pd@Pt Nanodendrites as Peroxidase Nanomimics for Enhanced Colorimetric ELISA of Cytokines with Femtomolar Sensitivity
by Zhuangqiang Gao, Chuanyu Wang, Jiacheng He and Pengyu Chen
Chemosensors 2022, 10(9), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10090359 - 08 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
Colorimetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been widely applied as the gold-standard method for cytokine detection for decades. However, it has become a critical challenge to further improve the detection sensitivity of ELISA, as it is limited by the catalytic activity of enzymes. [...] Read more.
Colorimetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been widely applied as the gold-standard method for cytokine detection for decades. However, it has become a critical challenge to further improve the detection sensitivity of ELISA, as it is limited by the catalytic activity of enzymes. Herein, we report an enhanced colorimetric ELISA for ultrasensitive detection of interleukin-6 (IL-6, as a model cytokine for demonstration) using Pd@Pt core@shell nanodendrites (Pd@Pt NDs) as peroxidase nanomimics (named “Pd@Pt ND ELISA”), pushing the sensitivity up to femtomolar level. Specifically, the Pd@Pt NDs are rationally engineered by depositing Pt atoms on Pd nanocubes (NCs) to generate rough dendrite-like Pt skins on the Pd surfaces via Volmer–Weber growth mode. They can be produced on a large scale with highly uniform size, shape, composition, and structure. They exhibit significantly enhanced peroxidase-like catalytic activity with catalytic constants (Kcat) more than 2000-fold higher than those of horseradish peroxidase (HRP, an enzyme commonly used in ELISA). Using Pd@Pt NDs as the signal labels, the Pd@Pt ND ELISA presents strong colorimetric signals for the quantitative determination of IL-6 with a wide dynamic range of 0.05–100 pg mL−1 and an ultralow detection limit of 0.044 pg mL−1 (1.7 fM). This detection limit is 21-fold lower than that of conventional HRP-based ELISA. The reproducibility and specificity of the Pd@Pt ND ELISA are excellent. More significantly, the Pd@Pt ND ELISA was validated for analyzing IL-6 in human serum samples with high accuracy and reliability through recovery tests. Our results demonstrate that the colorimetric Pd@Pt ND ELISA is a promising biosensing tool for ultrasensitive determination of cytokines and thus is expected to be applied in a variety of clinical diagnoses and fundamental biomedical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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21 pages, 5025 KiB  
Article
Impact of Surface Area on Sensitivity in Autonomously Reporting Sensing Hydrogel Nanomaterials for the Detection of Bacterial Enzymes
by Celestine Kathure Kinyua, Ayub Omondi Owino, Kawaljit Kaur, Dipankar Das, Nancy Wangechi Karuri, Mareike Müller and Holger Schönherr
Chemosensors 2022, 10(8), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10080299 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
The rapid and selective detection of bacterial contaminations and bacterial infections in a non-laboratory setting using advanced sensing materials holds the promise to enable robust point-of-care tests and rapid diagnostics for applications in the medical field as well as food safety. Among the [...] Read more.
The rapid and selective detection of bacterial contaminations and bacterial infections in a non-laboratory setting using advanced sensing materials holds the promise to enable robust point-of-care tests and rapid diagnostics for applications in the medical field as well as food safety. Among the various possible analytes, bacterial enzymes have been targeted successfully in various sensing formats. In this current work, we focus on the systematic investigation of the role of surface area on the sensitivity in micro- and nanostructured autonomously reporting sensing hydrogel materials for the detection of bacterial enzymes. The colorimetric sensing materials for the detection of β-glucuronidase (ß-GUS) from Escherichia coli (E. coli) were fabricated by template replication of crosslinked pullulan acetoacetate (PUAA) and by electrospinning chitosan/polyethylene oxide nanofibers (CS/PEO NFs), both equipped with the chromogenic substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-β-D-glucuronide. The investigation of the dependence of the initial reaction rates on surface area unveiled a linear relationship of rate and thereby time to observe a signal for a given concentration of bacterial enzyme. This knowledge was exploited in nanoscale sensing materials made of CS/PEO NFs with diameters of 295 ± 100 nm. Compared to bulk hydrogel slabs, the rate of hydrolysis was significantly enhanced in NFs when exposed to bacteria suspension cultures and thus ensuring a rapid detection of living E. coli that produces the enzyme β-GUS. The findings afford generalized design principles for the improvement of known and novel sensing materials towards rapid detection of bacteria by nanostructuring in medical and food related settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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11 pages, 2707 KiB  
Article
Visible Light-Responsive Sulfone-Based Covalent Organic Framework as Metal-Free Nanoenzyme for Visual Colorimetric Determination of Uranium
by Yulong Xu, Jiahui Wei and Xuwei Chen
Chemosensors 2022, 10(7), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10070248 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
Covalent organic framework (COF) has been attracting considerable attention as a novel crystalline material owing to its extended π-electron conjugation and excellent spectral behavior. In this study, we present an imine-linked two-dimensional (2D) crystalline sulfone-based covalent organic framework (TAS-COF) synthesized by 2,4,6-triformylphloroglucinol (Tp) [...] Read more.
Covalent organic framework (COF) has been attracting considerable attention as a novel crystalline material owing to its extended π-electron conjugation and excellent spectral behavior. In this study, we present an imine-linked two-dimensional (2D) crystalline sulfone-based covalent organic framework (TAS-COF) synthesized by 2,4,6-triformylphloroglucinol (Tp) and 3,7-diaminodibenzo[b,d]thiophene (DAS) via a Schiff base condensation reaction. The benzothiophene sulfone endows the as-synthesized TAS-COF with excellent oxidase-like activity under visible light irradiation, ascribed to the generation of superoxide radicals (O2•−) by photo-generated electron transfer. TAS-COF can efficiently oxidase the colorless substrate 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzydine (TMB) into blue oxidized TMB (oxTMB) when exposed to visible light, and the presence of uranium (UO22+) leads to clear color fading due to the coordination between the imine of oxTMB and UO22+. A colorimetric strategy is thus developed for UO22+ determination with a detection limit of 0.07 μmol L−1. Moreover, a paper-based visual sensing platform is also constructed to offer simple and fast UO22+ content evaluation in water samples. The present study not only provides a promising strategy to prepare visible light-triggered COF-based metal-free nanoenzymes but also extends the applications of COF material in radionuclide detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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11 pages, 2497 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Dichromatic Behavior of Bromophenol Blue to Enhance the Analytical Performance of pH Colorimetric Sensor Arrays
by Andrea Pastore, Denis Badocco, Luca Cappellin and Paolo Pastore
Chemosensors 2022, 10(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10020087 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4181
Abstract
The dichromatism of Bromophenol blue (BPB) was investigated by varying its concentration in the absence and presence of surfactant. A model of the indicator behavior was carried out, justifying the experimental shapes of the sigmoidal profiles of the hue (H) coordinate. [...] Read more.
The dichromatism of Bromophenol blue (BPB) was investigated by varying its concentration in the absence and presence of surfactant. A model of the indicator behavior was carried out, justifying the experimental shapes of the sigmoidal profiles of the hue (H) coordinate. The model applied to the solution was compared with the performance of colorimetric sensor arrays (CSAs) with increasing BPB concentrations. The H shape and the prediction errors of the CSAs were very similar to those predicted. The experimental results enable the changing of the slope of the calibration profiles, at will, by varying only the BPB concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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12 pages, 4514 KiB  
Article
Spectroscopic and Colorimetric Studies for Anions with a New Urea-Based Molecular Cleft
by Sanchita Kundu, Tochukwu Kevin Egboluche, Zehra Yousuf and Md. Alamgir Hossain
Chemosensors 2021, 9(10), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors9100287 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
A new simple urea-based dipodal molecular cleft (L) has been synthesized and studied for its binding affinity for a variety of anions by 1H-NMR, UV-Vis and colorimetric techniques in DMSO-d6 and DMSO, respectively. The results from titration studies [...] Read more.
A new simple urea-based dipodal molecular cleft (L) has been synthesized and studied for its binding affinity for a variety of anions by 1H-NMR, UV-Vis and colorimetric techniques in DMSO-d6 and DMSO, respectively. The results from titration studies suggest that the receptor forms a 1:2 complex with each of the anions used via hydrogen bonding interactions and exhibits strong selectivity for fluoride among halides, showing the binding affinity in the order of fluoride > chloride > bromide > iodide; meanwhile, it displays moderate selectivity for acetate among oxoanions, showing the binding affinity in the order of acetate > dihydrogen phosphate > bicarbonate > hydrogen sulfate > nitrate. Colorimetric studies of L for anions in DMSO reveal that the receptor is capable of detecting fluoride, acetate, bicarbonate and dihydrogen phosphate, displaying a visible color change in the presence of the respective anions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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Review

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56 pages, 40584 KiB  
Review
Plasmonic Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Biosensing: A Review
by Adriano Acunzo, Emanuela Scardapane, Maria De Luca, Daniele Marra, Raffaele Velotta and Antonio Minopoli
Chemosensors 2022, 10(4), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10040136 - 05 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4138
Abstract
In the last few decades, plasmonic colorimetric biosensors raised increasing interest in bioanalytics thanks to their cost-effectiveness, responsiveness, and simplicity as compared to conventional laboratory techniques. Potential high-throughput screening and easy-to-use assay procedures make them also suitable for realizing point of care devices. [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, plasmonic colorimetric biosensors raised increasing interest in bioanalytics thanks to their cost-effectiveness, responsiveness, and simplicity as compared to conventional laboratory techniques. Potential high-throughput screening and easy-to-use assay procedures make them also suitable for realizing point of care devices. Nevertheless, several challenges such as fabrication complexity, laborious biofunctionalization, and poor sensitivity compromise their technological transfer from research laboratories to industry and, hence, still hamper their adoption on large-scale. However, newly-developing plasmonic colorimetric biosensors boast impressive sensing performance in terms of sensitivity, dynamic range, limit of detection, reliability, and specificity thereby continuously encouraging further researches. In this review, recently reported plasmonic colorimetric biosensors are discussed with a focus on the following categories: (i) on-platform-based (localized surface plasmon resonance, coupled plasmon resonance and surface lattice resonance); (ii) colloid aggregation-based (label-based and label free); (iii) colloid non-aggregation-based (nanozyme, etching-based and growth-based). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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36 pages, 4136 KiB  
Review
Gold and Silver Nanoparticle-Based Colorimetric Sensors: New Trends and Applications
by Giancarla Alberti, Camilla Zanoni, Lisa Rita Magnaghi and Raffaela Biesuz
Chemosensors 2021, 9(11), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors9110305 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 6685
Abstract
Gold and Silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) are perfect platforms for developing sensing colorimetric devices thanks to their high surface to volume ratio and distinctive optical properties, particularly sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment. These characteristics ensure high sensitivity in colorimetric devices. [...] Read more.
Gold and Silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) are perfect platforms for developing sensing colorimetric devices thanks to their high surface to volume ratio and distinctive optical properties, particularly sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment. These characteristics ensure high sensitivity in colorimetric devices. Au and Ag nanoparticles can be capped with suitable molecules that can act as specific analyte receptors, so highly selective sensors can be obtained. This review aims to highlight the principal strategies developed during the last decade concerning the preparation of Au and Ag nanoparticle-based colorimetric sensors, with particular attention to environmental and health monitoring applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Nanomaterials for Colorimetric Sensing)
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