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Special Issue "The Applications of Sensors and Biosensors in Investigating Drugs, Nutraceuticals and Foods"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luigi Campanella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, "La Sapienza" University, Italy
Interests: urban pollution; oxidative stress; cultural heritage; field effect transistor; integral toxicity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Mauro Tomassetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Rome "La Sapienza", P.le A. Moro 5, Rome 00185, Italy
Interests: sensors; biosensors; immunosensors; foods; drugs; nutraceuticals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our life is continuously under siege by aggressive media related to environmental pollution. Foods play a dual role in this:

  1. They suffer this situation and become a further source of danger and risk: This occurs when they lack safety conditions because of the transfer of pollutants from the environment to them; in fact, this loss can also be ascribed to artificially-added compounds present to increase the commercial value of food itself
  2. They have become a defense instrument for humans, as most foods are functional to restoring the activity needed after the above mentioned damages; this aspect is the main reason for the birth of nutraceuticals: Foods acting as drugs—but without their secondary effects—due to their composition.
  3. The rapid analysis of drugs, pharmaceutical formulations and nutraceuticals are increasingly required, both for a certain amount of deregulation of the production of drugs on the market and for the increasing contribution of drugs to the problem of environmental pollution.

Corresponding to this double role, foods need to be controlled for their composition, quality, and safety. Analytical chemistry has proposed official methods for the analysis of this matrix, but, in some cases, these methods are time consuming, not so easy to be managed in a lab, and are sometime costly. Sensor science, born especially for environmental reasons, has found further applications in many other fields, one of which is represented by foods. This Special Issue is dedicated to sensors for the assessment of the composition, quality, and safety of foods, drugs and nutraceuticals.

Prof. Dr. Luigi Campanella
Prof. Dr. Mauro Tomassetti
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 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. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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 (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
The Applications of Sensors and Biosensors in Investigating Drugs, Foods, and Nutraceuticals
Sensors 2019, 19(15), 3395; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19153395 - 02 Aug 2019
Viewed by 863
Abstract
The present Special Issue is focused on developing and applying several sensors, biosensor devices, and actuators for the analysis of drugs, foods, and nutraceuticals. Some applications concern classical topics, such as clostridium determination in dairy products, flavouring material in foods like ethylvanillin, or [...] Read more.
The present Special Issue is focused on developing and applying several sensors, biosensor devices, and actuators for the analysis of drugs, foods, and nutraceuticals. Some applications concern classical topics, such as clostridium determination in dairy products, flavouring material in foods like ethylvanillin, or the antioxidant properties of fruit juices, while other applications are more innovative, such as food safety analysis, artificial human senses (electronic nose, or tongue) development, or ethanol determination in pharmaceutical drugs, or forensic purposes using catalytic fuel cell; and lastly, new studies devoted to intelligent food packaging. Therefore, this Special Issue should interest both specialists in the sector and readers who are simply curious, or are simply interested in innovations in the field of food and drug analysis. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Novel Potentiometric 2,6-Dichlorophenolindo-phenolate (DCPIP) Membrane-Based Sensors: Assessment of Their Input in the Determination of Total Phenolics and Ascorbic Acid in Beverages
Sensors 2019, 19(9), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19092058 - 02 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
In this work, we demonstrated proof-of-concept for the use of ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) as a promising tool for the assessment of total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Novel membrane sensors for 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenolate (DCPIP) ions were prepared and characterized. The sensors membranes were based on the [...] Read more.
In this work, we demonstrated proof-of-concept for the use of ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) as a promising tool for the assessment of total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Novel membrane sensors for 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenolate (DCPIP) ions were prepared and characterized. The sensors membranes were based on the use of either CuII-neocuproin/2,6-dichlorophenolindo-phenolate ([Cu(Neocup)2][DCPIP]2) (sensor I), or methylene blue/2,6-dichlorophenolindophenolate (MB/DCPIP) (sensor II) ion association complexes in a plasticized PVC matrix. The sensors revealed significantly enhanced response towards DCPIP ions over the concentration range 5.13 × 10−5–1.0 × 10−2 and 5.15 × 10−5–1.0 × 10−2 M at pH 7 with detection limits of 6.3 and 9.2 µg/mL with near-Nernstian slope of −56.2 ± 1.7 and −51.6 ± 2 mV/decade for sensors I and II, respectively. The effects of plasticizers and various foreign common ions were also tested. The sensors showed enhanced selectivity towards DCPIP over many other phenolic and inorganic ions. Long life span, high potential stability, high reproducibility, and fast response were also observed. Method validation was also verified by measuring the detection limit, linearity range, accuracy, precision, repeatability and between-day-variability. The sensors were introduced for direct determination of TAC in fresh and canned juice samples collected from local markets. The obtained results agreed fairly well with the data obtained by the standard method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Direct Methanol (or Ethanol) Fuel Cell as Enzymatic or Non-Enzymatic Device, Used to Check Ethanol in Several Pharmaceutical and Forensic Samples
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3596; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113596 - 23 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
It was already demonstrated by our research group that a direct catalytic methanol (or ethanol) fuel cell (DMFC) device can be used also for analytical purposes, such as the determination of ethanol content in beverages. In the present research we extended the application [...] Read more.
It was already demonstrated by our research group that a direct catalytic methanol (or ethanol) fuel cell (DMFC) device can be used also for analytical purposes, such as the determination of ethanol content in beverages. In the present research we extended the application to the analysis of several ethanol-based pharmaceutical products, i.e., pharmaceutical tinctures (dyes) and disinfectants. In recent work we have also shown that the use of alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme as a component of the anodic section of a direct catalytic methanol (or ethanol) fuel cell significantly improves the performance of a simple DMFC device, making it more suitable to measure ethanol (or methanol) in real samples by this cell. At the same time, we have also shown that DMFC can respond to certain organic compounds that are more complex than methanol and ethanol and having R(R’)CH-OH group in the molecule. Firstly, pharmaceutical dyes were analyzed for their ethanol content using the simple catalytic DMFC device, with good accuracy and precision. The results are illustrated in the present paper. Additionally, a detailed investigation carried out on commercial denatured alcoholic samples evidenced several interferences due to the contained additives. Secondly, we hypothesized that by using the enzymatic fuel cell it would be possible to improve the determination, for instance, of certain antibiotics, such as imipenem, or else carry out determinations of ethanol content in saliva and serum (simulating forensic tests, correlated to drivers “breath test”); even if this has already been hypothesized in previous papers, the present study is the first to perform them experimentally, obtaining satisfactory results. In practice, all of the goals which we proposed were reached, confirming the remarkable opportunities of the enzymatic (or non-enzymatic) DMFC device. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of a Food Nano-Platform Sensor for Determination of Vanillin in Food Samples
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2817; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092817 - 27 Aug 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
Herein, we describe the fabrication of NiO decorated single wall carbon nanotubes (NiO-SWCNTs) nanocomposites using the precipitation method. The synthesized NiO-SWCNTs nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Remarkably, NiO-SWCNTs and 1-butylpyridinium hexafluorophosphate modified carbon paste electrode (CPE/NiO-SWCNTs/BPrPF6) [...] Read more.
Herein, we describe the fabrication of NiO decorated single wall carbon nanotubes (NiO-SWCNTs) nanocomposites using the precipitation method. The synthesized NiO-SWCNTs nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Remarkably, NiO-SWCNTs and 1-butylpyridinium hexafluorophosphate modified carbon paste electrode (CPE/NiO-SWCNTs/BPrPF6) were employed for the electrochemical detection of vanillin. The vanillin sensor showed an ultra-high sensitivity of 0.3594 μA/μM and a low detection limit of 0.007 μM. In the final step, the NiO-SWCNTs/BPrPF6 was used as the suitable tool for food analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Broad-Spectrum Sweet Taste Sensor Based on Ni(OH)2/Ni Electrode
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2758; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092758 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1313
Abstract
A broad-spectrum sweet taste sensor based on Ni(OH)2/Ni electrode was fabricated by the cyclic voltammetry technique. This sensor can be directly used to detect natural sweet substances in 0.1 M NaOH solution by chronoamperometry method. The current value measured by the [...] Read more.
A broad-spectrum sweet taste sensor based on Ni(OH)2/Ni electrode was fabricated by the cyclic voltammetry technique. This sensor can be directly used to detect natural sweet substances in 0.1 M NaOH solution by chronoamperometry method. The current value measured by the sensor shows a linear relationship with the concentration of glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol (R2 = 0.998, 0.983, 0.999, 0.989, 0.985, 0.990, 0.991, and 0.985, respectively). Moreover, the characteristic value of this sensor is well correlated with the concentration and relative sweetness of eight sweet substances. The good correlation between the characteristic value of six fruit samples measured by the sensor and human sensory sweetness measured by sensory evaluation (correlation coefficient = 0.95) indicates that it can reflect the sweetness of fruits containing several sweet substances. In addition, the sensor also exhibits good long-term stability over 40 days (signal ratio fluctuation ranges from 91.5% to 116.2%). Thus, this broad-spectrum sensor is promising for sweet taste sensory application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Study on Biosensor-Type Time-Temperature Integrator for Intelligent Food Packaging
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1949; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061949 - 15 Jun 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
A glucose biosensor was utilized as a platform for the time-temperature integrator (TTI), a device for intelligent food packaging. The TTI system is composed of glucose oxidase, glucose, a pH indicator, and a three-electrode potentiostat, which produces an electrical signal as well as [...] Read more.
A glucose biosensor was utilized as a platform for the time-temperature integrator (TTI), a device for intelligent food packaging. The TTI system is composed of glucose oxidase, glucose, a pH indicator, and a three-electrode potentiostat, which produces an electrical signal as well as color development. The reaction kinetics of these response variables were analyzed under isothermal conditions. The reaction rates of the electrical current and color changes were 0.0360 ± 0.0020 (95% confidence limit), 0.0566 ± 0.0026, 0.0716 ± 0.0024, 0.1073 ± 0.0028 µA/min, and 0.0187 ± 0.0005, 0.0293 ± 0.0018, 0.0363 ± 0.0012, 0.0540 ± 0.0019 1/min, at 5, 15, 25, and 35 °C, respectively. The Arrhenius activation energy of the current reaction (Eacurrent) was 25.0 ± 1.6 kJ/mol and the Eacolor of the color reactions was 24.2 ± 0.6 kJ/mol. The similarity of these Ea shows agreement in the prediction of food qualities between the electrical signal and color development. Consequently, the function of the new time-temperature integrator system could be extended to that of a biosensor compatible with any electrical utilization equipment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasensitive Electrochemical Detection of Clostridium perfringens DNA Based Morphology-Dependent DNA Adsorption Properties of CeO2 Nanorods in Dairy Products
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061878 - 08 Jun 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
Foodborne pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens can cause diverse illnesses and seriously threaten to human health, yet far less attention has been given to detecting these pathogenic bacteria. Herein, two morphologies of nanoceria were synthesized via adjusting the concentration of NaOH, and CeO [...] Read more.
Foodborne pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens can cause diverse illnesses and seriously threaten to human health, yet far less attention has been given to detecting these pathogenic bacteria. Herein, two morphologies of nanoceria were synthesized via adjusting the concentration of NaOH, and CeO2 nanorod has been utilized as sensing material to achieve sensitive and selective detection of C. perfringens DNA sequence due to its strong adsorption ability towards DNA compared to nanoparticle. The DNA probe was tightly immobilized on CeO2/chitosan modified electrode surface via metal coordination, and the DNA surface density was 2.51 × 10−10 mol/cm2. Under optimal experimental conditions, the electrochemical impedance biosensor displays favorable selectivity toward target DNA in comparison with base-mismatched and non-complementary DNA. The dynamic linear range of the proposed biosensor for detecting oligonucleotide sequence of Clostridium perfringens was from 1.0 × 10−14 to 1.0 × 10−7 mol/L. The detection limit was 7.06 × 10−15 mol/L. In comparison, differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) method quantified the target DNA with a detection limit of 1.95 × 10−15 mol/L. Moreover, the DNA biosensor could detect C. perfringens extracted DNA in dairy products and provided a potential application in food quality control. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Emerging Point-of-care Technologies for Food Safety Analysis
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040817 - 17 Feb 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2525
Abstract
Food safety issues have recently attracted public concern. The deleterious effects of compromised food safety on health have rendered food safety analysis an approach of paramount importance. While conventional techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry have traditionally been utilized for [...] Read more.
Food safety issues have recently attracted public concern. The deleterious effects of compromised food safety on health have rendered food safety analysis an approach of paramount importance. While conventional techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry have traditionally been utilized for the detection of food contaminants, they are relatively expensive, time-consuming and labor intensive, impeding their use for point-of-care (POC) applications. In addition, accessibility of these tests is limited in developing countries where food-related illnesses are prevalent. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop simple and robust diagnostic POC devices. POC devices, including paper- and chip-based devices, are typically rapid, cost-effective and user-friendly, offering a tremendous potential for rapid food safety analysis at POC settings. Herein, we discuss the most recent advances in the development of emerging POC devices for food safety analysis. We first provide an overview of common food safety issues and the existing techniques for detecting food contaminants such as foodborne pathogens, chemicals, allergens, and toxins. The importance of rapid food safety analysis along with the beneficial use of miniaturized POC devices are subsequently reviewed. Finally, the existing challenges and future perspectives of developing the miniaturized POC devices for food safety monitoring are briefly discussed. Full article
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