Recent Progress of Hydrogel Sensors and Biosensors

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 September 2024 | Viewed by 6078

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación de Reconocimiento Molecular y Desarrollo Tecnológico (IDM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Universitat de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2. Departamento de Química, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: optical biosensing; surface functionalization; biofunctionalization; photoinduced immobilization; label-free; holography; diffraction-based sensing; photonic sensors; biograting; immunoassay

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación de Reconocimiento Molecular y Desarrollo Tecnológico (IDM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Universitat de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: surface functionalization; biofunctionalization; carbon nanomaterials; nanoparticle synthesis; hydrogels; material synthesis; material characterization; organic chemistry; optical biosensing; diffraction-based sensing; label-free; holography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación de Reconocimiento Molecular y Desarrollo Tecnológico (IDM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Universitat de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2. Departamento de Química, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: immunochemical methods; surface chemistry; nanomaterials for bioanalysis; photonic biosensing; screening systems; bioreagents development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogels have attracted substantial attention over the last few decades due to their 3D hydrophilic structure which can swell high quantities of water. They found applications in controlled release, drug delivery, immunomodulation, tissue engineering, or sensing and biosensing.

Hydrogels for sensors and biosensors are appropriately tailored so they change their physicochemical properties after their interaction with the target. Thus, stimuli, such as pressure, light, electric fields, magnetic fields, heat, the presence of small molecules and biomolecules, or pH, can be monitored by analyzing their effect on the absorbance, color, refractive index, conductivity, or rheological properties of materials, among others.

The smart design of the hydrogel, their functionalization, and the format and measurement set-ups used for the different analysis are necessary to provide devices with adequate analytical performance for real applications.

This Special Issue aims to collect both original research articles and review papers on the most recent innovations regarding the formulation, synthesis, processing, design, and characterization of hydrogels in different formats for sensing and biosensing. Studies about wearables, point-of-care, and emerging sensing technologies based on hydrogels are greatly encouraged. 

Dr. María-José Bañuls
Dr. María Isabel Lucío
Prof. Dr. Ángel Maquieira
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Gels 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 2600 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

  • hydrogel
  • sensors
  • biosensors
  • stimuli-responsive
  • wearable
  • point of care

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3462 KiB  
Article
Fluorescence ‘Turn-on’ Probe for Chromium Reduction, Adsorption and Detection Based on Cellulosic Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Quantum Dots Hydrogels
by Hebat-Allah S. Tohamy
Gels 2024, 10(5), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10050296 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
This paper proposes a new, highly effective fluorescence test for Cr(VI) detection. This method utilizes a hydrogel composed of hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N–CQDs), and poly(co-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid) (AMPS). The N–CQDs were successfully synthesized using a simple microwave method, and [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new, highly effective fluorescence test for Cr(VI) detection. This method utilizes a hydrogel composed of hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N–CQDs), and poly(co-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid) (AMPS). The N–CQDs were successfully synthesized using a simple microwave method, and then conjugated with HEC and AMPS. The higher adsorption (99.41%) and higher reduction rate in H1 likely stems from both the presence of N–CQDs (absent in HB) and their increased free functional groups (compared to H2/H3, where N–CQDs block them). This facilitates the release (desorption) of Cr(VI) from the hydrogels, making it more available for reduction to the less toxic Cr(III). The fluorescent brightness of the HEC-N–CQDs-g-poly(AMPS) hydrogel increases gradually when Cr(VI) is added in amounts ranging from 15 to 120 mg/L. The fluorescent enhancement of the HEC-N–CQDs-g-poly(AMPS) hydrogel appeared to exhibit a good linear relationship with the 15–120 mg of the Cr(VI) concentration, with a detection limit of 0.0053 mg/L, which is lower than the standard value published by WHO. Our study found that the HEC-N–CQDs-g-poly(AMPS) hydrogel served effectively as a fluorescent probe for Cr(VI) detection in aqueous solutions, demonstrating high sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Hydrogel Sensors and Biosensors)
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15 pages, 4131 KiB  
Article
A Fully Integrated Microfluidic Device with Immobilized Dyes for Simultaneous Detection of Cell-Free DNA and Histones from Plasma Using Dehydrated Agarose Gates
by Shadi Shahriari and P. Ravi Selvaganapathy
Gels 2024, 10(3), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10030186 - 8 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Sepsis, a life-threatening condition resulting from a failing host response to infection, causes millions of deaths annually, necessitating rapid and simple prognostic assessments. A variety of genomic and proteomic biomarkers have been developed for sepsis. For example, it has been shown that the [...] Read more.
Sepsis, a life-threatening condition resulting from a failing host response to infection, causes millions of deaths annually, necessitating rapid and simple prognostic assessments. A variety of genomic and proteomic biomarkers have been developed for sepsis. For example, it has been shown that the level of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and circulating histones increases considerably during sepsis, and they are linked with sepsis severity and mortality. Developing a diagnostic tool that is capable of assessing such diverse biomarkers is challenging as the detection methodology is quite different for each. Here, a fully integrated microfluidic device capable of detecting a genomic biomarker (cfDNA) and a proteomic biomarker (total circulating histones) using a common detection platform has been demonstrated. The microfluidic device utilizes dehydrated agarose gates loaded with pH-specific agarose to electrophoretically trap cfDNA and histones at their respective isoelectric points. It also incorporates fluorescent dyes within the device, eliminating the need for off-chip sample preparation and allowing the direct testing of plasma samples without the need for labeling DNA and histones with fluorescent dyes beforehand. Xurography, which is a low-cost and rapid method for fabrication of microfluidics, is used in all the fabrication steps. Experimental results demonstrate the effective accumulation and separation of cfDNA and histones in the agarose gates in a total processing time of 20 min, employing 10 and 30 Volts for cfDNA and histone accumulation and detection, respectively. The device can potentially be used to distinguish between the survivors and non-survivors of sepsis. The integration of the detection of both biomarkers into a single device and dye immobilization enhances its clinical utility for rapid point-of-care assessment of sepsis prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Hydrogel Sensors and Biosensors)
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15 pages, 4087 KiB  
Article
Holographic Recording of Unslanted Volume Transmission Gratings in Acrylamide/Propargyl Acrylate Hydrogel Layers: Towards Nucleic Acids Biosensing
by Paola Zezza, María Isabel Lucío, Izabela Naydenova, María-José Bañuls and Ángel Maquieira
Gels 2023, 9(9), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9090710 - 1 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1070
Abstract
The role of volume hydrogel holographic gratings as optical transducers in sensor devices for point-of-care applications is increasing due to their ability to be functionalized for achieving enhanced selectivity. The first step in the development of these transducers is the optimization of the [...] Read more.
The role of volume hydrogel holographic gratings as optical transducers in sensor devices for point-of-care applications is increasing due to their ability to be functionalized for achieving enhanced selectivity. The first step in the development of these transducers is the optimization of the holographic recording process. The optimization aims at achieving gratings with reproducible diffraction efficiency, which remains stable after reiterative washings, typically required when working with analytes of a biological nature or several step tests. The recording process of volume phase transmission gratings within Acrylamide/Propargyl Acrylate hydrogel layers reported in this work was successfully performed, and the obtained diffraction gratings were optically characterized. Unslanted volume transmission gratings were recorded in the hydrogel layers diffraction efficiencies; up to 80% were achieved. Additionally, the recorded gratings demonstrated stability in water after multiple washing steps. The hydrogels, after functionalization with oligonucleotide probes, yields a specific hybridization response, recognizing the complementary strand as demonstrated by fluorescence. Analyte-sensitive hydrogel layers with holographic structures are a promising candidate for the next generation of in vitro diagnostic tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Hydrogel Sensors and Biosensors)
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Review

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18 pages, 3832 KiB  
Review
Hydrogel-Based Biosensors for Effective Therapeutics
by Mohzibudin Z. Quazi, Jimin Hwang, Youngseo Song and Nokyoung Park
Gels 2023, 9(7), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9070545 - 4 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2315
Abstract
Nanotechnology and polymer engineering are navigating toward new developments to control and overcome complex problems. In the last few decades, polymer engineering has received researchers’ attention and similarly, polymeric network-engineered structures have been vastly studied. Prior to therapeutic application, early and rapid detection [...] Read more.
Nanotechnology and polymer engineering are navigating toward new developments to control and overcome complex problems. In the last few decades, polymer engineering has received researchers’ attention and similarly, polymeric network-engineered structures have been vastly studied. Prior to therapeutic application, early and rapid detection analyses are critical. Therefore, developing hydrogel-based sensors to manage the acute expression of diseases and malignancies to devise therapeutic approaches demands advanced nanoengineering. However, nano-therapeutics have emerged as an alternative approach to tackling strenuous diseases. Similarly, sensing applications for multiple kinds of analytes in water-based environments and other media are gaining wide interest. It has also been observed that these functional roles can be used as alternative approaches to the detection of a wide range of biomolecules and pathogenic proteins. Moreover, hydrogels have emerged as a three-dimensional (3D) polymeric network that consists of hydrophilic natural or synthetic polymers with multidimensional dynamics. The resemblance of hydrogels to tissue structure makes them more unique to study inquisitively. Preceding studies have shown a vast spectrum of synthetic and natural polymer applications in the field of biotechnology and molecular diagnostics. This review explores recent studies on synthetic and natural polymers engineered hydrogel-based biosensors and their applications in multipurpose diagnostics and therapeutics. We review the latest studies on hydrogel-engineered biosensors, exclusively DNA-based and DNA hydrogel-fabricated biosensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress of Hydrogel Sensors and Biosensors)
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