Special Issue "Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Nanoscience and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 11081

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Leopold
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
Interests: development of analytical methods for trace and ultra trace analysis of elements, element species, and nanoparticles; nanoparticles as a tool and target in trace analysis; environmental monitoring of mercury traces; analysis of trace elements and nanoparticles in environmental, biological, and medical samples

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanomaterials (NMs) are a powerful tool for enhancing analytical procedures for trace analysis. Because of their unique properties, NMs are able to significantly improve approaches for sampling, pretreatment, and preconcentration (e.g., by SPE), as well as for detection (e.g., advancing sensing systems, or even providing completely novel approaches). The benefits obtained by the application of NMs are diverse, from saving time and reagents (sustainability), to the miniaturization of devices, or the enhancement of analytical performance, such as increasing sensitivity or selectivity. 

This Special Issue attempts to cover the recent advances in the development and application of nanomaterials (nanoparticles, nanostructured surfaces, nanofilms, etc.) for enhanced trace analysis. We invite investigators to submit original research articles and letters, as well as review articles and perspective views on the development of nanomaterials for the preconcentration, determination, and/or detection of trace substances, and their application to real-world samples.

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Leopold
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 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

  • Nanomaterials
  • Trace analysis
  • Sampling, pretreatment, and preconcentration
  • Sensing and detecting
  • Sustainable analysis
  • Miniaturization
  • Real-world samples

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Physicochemical and Electrochemical Characterization of Electropolymerized Polydopamine Films: Influence of the Deposition Process
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11081964 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Polydopamine (PDA) is a synthetic eumelanin polymer which is, to date, mostly obtained by dip coating processes. In this contribution, we evaluate the physical and electrochemical properties of electrochemically deposited PDA films obtained by cyclic voltammetry or pulsed deposition. The obtained PDA thin [...] Read more.
Polydopamine (PDA) is a synthetic eumelanin polymer which is, to date, mostly obtained by dip coating processes. In this contribution, we evaluate the physical and electrochemical properties of electrochemically deposited PDA films obtained by cyclic voltammetry or pulsed deposition. The obtained PDA thin films are investigated with respect to their electrochemical properties, i.e., electron transfer (ET) kinetics and charge transfer resistance using scanning electrochemical microscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and their nanomechanical properties, i.e., Young’s modulus and adhesion forces at varying experimental conditions, such as applied potential or pH value of the medium using atomic force microscopy. In particular, the ET behavior at different pH values has not to date been investigated in detail for electrodeposited PDA thin films, which is of particular interest for a multitude of applications. Adhesion forces strongly depend on applied potential and surrounding pH value. Moreover, force spectroscopic measurements reveal a significantly higher percentage of polymeric character compared to films obtained by dip coating. Additionally, distinct differences between the two depositions methods are observed, which indicate that the pulse deposition process leads to denser, more cross-linked films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Probing the Intracellular Bio-Nano Interface in Different Cell Lines with Gold Nanostars
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051183 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1119
Abstract
Gold nanostars are a versatile plasmonic nanomaterial with many applications in bioanalysis. Their interactions with animal cells of three different cell lines are studied here at the molecular and ultrastructural level at an early stage of endolysosomal processing. Using the gold nanostars themselves [...] Read more.
Gold nanostars are a versatile plasmonic nanomaterial with many applications in bioanalysis. Their interactions with animal cells of three different cell lines are studied here at the molecular and ultrastructural level at an early stage of endolysosomal processing. Using the gold nanostars themselves as substrate for surface-enhanced Raman scattering, their protein corona and the molecules in the endolysosomal environment were characterized. Localization, morphology, and size of the nanostar aggregates in the endolysosomal compartment of the cells were probed by cryo soft-X-ray nanotomography. The processing of the nanostars by macrophages of cell line J774 differed greatly from that in the fibroblast cell line 3T3 and in the epithelial cell line HCT-116, and the structure and composition of the biomolecular corona was found to resemble that of spherical gold nanoparticles in the same cells. Data obtained with gold nanostars of varied morphology indicate that the biomolecular interactions at the surface in vivo are influenced by the spike length, with increased interaction with hydrophobic groups of proteins and lipids for longer spike lengths, and independent of the cell line. The results will support optimized nanostar synthesis and delivery for sensing, imaging, and theranostics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Development of Single-Molecule Electrical Identification Method for Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate Signaling Pathway
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030784 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is an important research target because it activates protein kinases, and its signaling pathway regulates the passage of ions and molecules inside a cell. To detect the chemical reactions related to the cAMP intracellular signaling pathway, cAMP, adenosine triphosphate [...] Read more.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is an important research target because it activates protein kinases, and its signaling pathway regulates the passage of ions and molecules inside a cell. To detect the chemical reactions related to the cAMP intracellular signaling pathway, cAMP, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine monophosphate (AMP), and adenosine diphosphate (ADP) should be selectively detected. This study utilized single-molecule quantum measurements of these adenosine family molecules to detect their individual electrical conductance using nanogap devices. As a result, cAMP was electrically detected at the single molecular level, and its signal was successfully discriminated from those of ATP, AMP, and ADP using the developed machine learning method. The discrimination accuracies of a single cAMP signal from AMP, ADP, and ATP were found to be 0.82, 0.70, and 0.72, respectively. These values indicated a 99.9% accuracy when detecting more than ten signals. Based on an analysis of the feature values used for the machine learning analysis, it is suggested that this discrimination was due to the structural difference between the ribose of the phosphate site of cAMP and those of ATP, ADP, and AMP. This method will be of assistance in detecting and understanding the intercellular signaling pathways for small molecular second messengers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Magnetic Mesoporous Carbon/β-Cyclodextrin–Chitosan Nanocomposite for Extraction and Preconcentration of Multi-Class Emerging Contaminant Residues in Environmental Samples
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020540 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
This study reports the development of magnetic solid-phase extraction combined with high-performance liquid chromatography for the determination of ten trace amounts of emerging contaminants (fluoroquinolone antibiotics, parabens, anticonvulsants and β-blockers) in water systems. Magnetic mesoporous carbon/β-cyclodextrin–chitosan (MMPC/Cyc-Chit) was used as an adsorbent in [...] Read more.
This study reports the development of magnetic solid-phase extraction combined with high-performance liquid chromatography for the determination of ten trace amounts of emerging contaminants (fluoroquinolone antibiotics, parabens, anticonvulsants and β-blockers) in water systems. Magnetic mesoporous carbon/β-cyclodextrin–chitosan (MMPC/Cyc-Chit) was used as an adsorbent in dispersive magnetic solid-phase extraction (DMSPE). The magnetic solid-phase extraction method was optimized using central composite design. Under the optimum conditions, the limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.1 to 0.7 ng L−1, 0.5 to 1.1 ng L−1 and 0.2 to 0.8 ng L−1 for anticonvulsants and β-blockers, fluoroquinolone and parabens, respectively. Relatively good dynamic linear ranges were obtained for all the investigated analytes. The repeatability (n = 7) and reproducibility (n = 5) were less than 5%, while the enrichment factors ranged between 90 and 150. The feasibility of the method in real samples was assessed by analysis of river water, tap water and wastewater samples. The recoveries for the investigated analytes in the real samples ranged from 93.5 to 98.8%, with %RSDs under 4%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Photoactive Titanium Dioxide Films with Embedded Gold Nanoparticles for Quantitative Determination of Mercury Traces in Humic Matter-Containing Freshwaters
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020512 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Mercury detection in humic matter-containing natural waters is often associated with environmental harmful substances for sample preparation. Herein we report an approach based on photoactive titanium dioxide films with embedded gold nanoparticles ([email protected]2 dipstick) for chemical-free sample preparation and mercury preconcentration. For [...] Read more.
Mercury detection in humic matter-containing natural waters is often associated with environmental harmful substances for sample preparation. Herein we report an approach based on photoactive titanium dioxide films with embedded gold nanoparticles ([email protected]2 dipstick) for chemical-free sample preparation and mercury preconcentration. For this purpose, AuNPs are immobilized onto a silicon wafer and further covered with a thin photoactive titanium dioxide layer. The AuNPs allow the preconcentration of Hg traces via amalgamation, while TiO2 acts as a protective layer and, at the same time, as a photocatalyst for UV-C radiation-based sample pretreatment. Humic matter, often present in natural waters, forms stabile complexes with Hg and so hinders its preconcentration prior to detection, causing a minor recovery. This problem is solved here by irradiation during Hg preconcentration onto the photoactive dipstick, resulting in a limit of detection as low as 0.137 ng L−1 using atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS). A 5 min preconcentration step is sufficient to obtain successful recovery of Hg traces from waters with up to 10 mg L−1 DOC. The feasibility of the approach was demonstrated by the determination of Hg traces in Danube river water. The results show no significant differences in comparison with standard cold vapor-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CV-AFS) measurements of the same sample. Hence, this new [email protected]2 dipstick provides a single-step sample preparation and preconcentration approach that combines sustainability with high analytical sensitivity and accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Eco-Structured Adsorptive Removal of Tigecycline from Wastewater: Date Pits’ Biochar versus the Magnetic Biochar
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010030 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
Non-magnetic and magnetic low-cost biochar (BC) from date pits (DP) were applied to remove tigecycline (TIGC) from TIGC-artificially contaminated water samples. Pristine biochar from DP (BCDP) and magnetite-decorated biochar (MBC-DP) were therefore prepared. Morphologies and surface chemistries of BCDP and MBC-DP were explored [...] Read more.
Non-magnetic and magnetic low-cost biochar (BC) from date pits (DP) were applied to remove tigecycline (TIGC) from TIGC-artificially contaminated water samples. Pristine biochar from DP (BCDP) and magnetite-decorated biochar (MBC-DP) were therefore prepared. Morphologies and surface chemistries of BCDP and MBC-DP were explored using FT-IR, Raman, SEM, EDX, TEM, and BET analyses. The obtained IR and Raman spectra confirmed the presence of magnetite on the surface of the MBC-DP. SEM results showed mesoporous surface for both adsorbents. BET analysis indicated higher amount of mesopores in MBC-DP. Box–Behnken (BB) design was utilized to optimize the treatment variables (pH, dose of the adsorbent (AD), concentration of TIGC [TIGC], and the contact time (CT)) and maximize the adsorptive power of both adsorbents. Higher % removal (%R), hitting 99.91%, was observed using MBC-DP compared to BCDP (77.31%). Maximum removal of TIGC (99.91%) was obtained using 120 mg/15 mL of MBC-DP for 10 min at pH 10. Equilibrium studies showed that Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms could best describe the adsorption of TIGC onto BCDP and MBC-DP, respectively, with a maximum adsorption capacity (qmax) of 57.14 mg/g using MBC-DP. Kinetics investigation showed that adsorption of TIGC onto both adsorbents could be best-fitted to a pseudo-second-order (PSO) model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Aqueous Dilution of Noble NPs Bulk Dispersions: Modeling Instability due to Dissolution by AF4 and Stablishing Considerations for Plasmonic Assays
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091802 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
Among different nanomaterials, gold and silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) have become useful tools for a wide variety of applications in general, and particularly for plasmonic assays. Particle size and stability analysis are key elements for their practical applications since the NPs properties [...] Read more.
Among different nanomaterials, gold and silver nanoparticles (AuNPs and AgNPs) have become useful tools for a wide variety of applications in general, and particularly for plasmonic assays. Particle size and stability analysis are key elements for their practical applications since the NPs properties depend on these parameters. Hence, in the present work, asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation (AF4) coupled to UV-Vis and dynamic light scattering (DLS) detectors in series, has been evaluated for stability studies of citrate-capped AuNPs and AgNPs aqueous dispersions. First, experimental parameters, such as mobile phase or cross-flow rate were optimized. Sodium azide to pH 7 for AuNPs and pH 9.2 for AgNPs were selected as the optimum mobile phase. The analytical response of bulk dispersions of AuNPs (20, 40, 60 and 80 nm) and AgNPs (20, 40 and 60 nm) and their dilutions have been studied. Fractograms showed a decrease on the absorbance signal in diluted dispersions as a function of time and particle size for the diluted dispersions that can be explained by dissolution in diluted dispersion since hydrodynamic diameter was constant. The results indicated that the dependence of the signal with time was more intense for AgNPs than for AuNPs, which can be correlated with its lower stability. These findings should be considered when plasmonic assays are realized. Here, assays involving non-oxidant acidic acids as use cases, were tested for several batches of NPs and considerations about their stability and operability stablished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Pt Nanoparticles with High Oxidase-Like Activity and Reusability for Detection of Ascorbic Acid
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061015 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Noble metal nanoenzymes such as Pt, Au, Pd, etc. exhibit magnificent activity. However, due to the scarce reserves and expensive prices of precious metals, it is essential to investigate their enzyme-like activity and explore the possibility of their reuse. In this work, the [...] Read more.
Noble metal nanoenzymes such as Pt, Au, Pd, etc. exhibit magnificent activity. However, due to the scarce reserves and expensive prices of precious metals, it is essential to investigate their enzyme-like activity and explore the possibility of their reuse. In this work, the oxidase-like activity and reusability of several Pt nanoparticles with different morphologies were detected. We compared the Pt nanoparticles (NPs) with a size of about 30 nm self-assembled by 5 nm Pt nanoparticles and Pt nanoparticles (Pt-0 HCl) with a diameter of about 5 nm, and found that their Michaelis−Menten constants (Km) were close and their initial performance similar, but the Pt NPs had better reusability. This was probably attributed to the stacked structure of Pt NPs, which was conducive to the substance transport and sufficient contact. At the same time, it was found that the size, dispersion, and organic substances adsorbed on the surface of Pt nanoparticles would have a significant impact on their reusability. A colorimetric detection method was designed using the oxidase-like activity of Pt NPs to detect ascorbic acid in triplicate. The limits of detection were 131 ± 15, 144 ± 14, and 152 ± 9 nM, with little difference. This research not only showed that the morphology of the catalyst could be changed and its catalytic performance could be controlled by a simple liquid phase synthesis method, but also that it had great significance for the reuse of Pt nanoenzymes in the field of bioanalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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Article
Magnetic Graphene Oxide Composite for the Microextraction and Determination of Benzophenones in Water Samples
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010168 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1737
Abstract
Magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4) functionalized with graphene oxide (GO) have been synthesized through a silanization process of the magnetic nanoparticles with tetraethyl orthosilicate and (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane and further coupling of GO. The synthesized nanomaterials have been characterized by several techniques, such [...] Read more.
Magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4) functionalized with graphene oxide (GO) have been synthesized through a silanization process of the magnetic nanoparticles with tetraethyl orthosilicate and (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane and further coupling of GO. The synthesized nanomaterials have been characterized by several techniques, such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and infrared and Raman spectroscopy, which enabled the evaluation of the different steps of the functionalization process. The hybrid nanomaterial has been employed for the extraction of five benzophenones (benzophenone-1, benzophenone-3, 4-hydroxybenzophenone, benzophenone-6 and benzophenone-8) in aqueous samples by dispersive micro-solid phase extraction, combining the magnetic properties of magnetite nanoparticles with the excellent sorption capacity of graphene oxide via hydrophobic interactions with the analytes. The subsequent separation and quantification of the analytes was performed by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection, achieving limits of detection (LODs) in the range 2.5 to 8.2 μg·L−1, with relative standard deviations ranging from 1.3–9.8% and relative recovering in the range 86 to 105%. Positive swimming pool water samples analysed following the developed method revealed the presence of benzophenones in from 14.3 to 39 μg·L−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Trace Analysis)
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