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Special Issue "Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Luca De Stefano

National Research Council, Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Naples, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: optical biosensors; bio/non-bio interfaces; optical sensors; plasmonic substrates
Guest Editor
Dr. Ilaria Rea

Functional Nanomaterials and Interfaces Lab, Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems - IMM, National Research Council (CNR), Via Pietro Castellino n.111, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanomaterials; hybrid interfaces; photoluminescence; optical biosensing; drug delivery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of opto-electronic sensors, based on nanostructured hybrid materials, is continuously expanding due to the advent of extra-performing transducers that use low-dimensional analogues of traditional ones,such as graphene, high bandgap semiconductors, plasmonic nanostructures. Label-free biosensing comprises various techniques, ranging from, but not limited to, nano-photonics, advanced spectroscopies, opto-electronic resonant measurements. These technologies have reached high TRL products in a really wide range of applications in biological research, medical diagnostics, and environmental monitoring, as well as applications in defence, security and agriculture.

We warmly invite all of you to submit manuscripts for this forthcoming Special Issue in all aspects relevant for nanostructured hybrid material based opto-electronic biosensors. Both short updated reviews and original research articles are welcome. Reviews should be focused on critical overview of state-of-the-art technologies utilizing label-free optical sensing mechanism relevant to biosensing. Original research papers reporting on innovative devices or new concepts and fundamental studies with potential relevance to opto-electronic biosensing, as well as surface functionalization strategies for transducers preparation are also of interest. We look forward to and welcome your participation in this Special Issue.

Dr. Luca De Stefano
Dr. Ilaria Rea
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 1800 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

  • Optical sensors
  • nanostructured transducers
  • plasmonic and nanophotonic sensors
  • label-free techniques
  • enhanced spectroscopies
  • nanosystems optical biosensors.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Advantages of the Surface Structuration of KBr Materials for Spectrometry and Sensors
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18093013
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 9 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A potassium bromide (KBr) material, which has been widely used as the key element in Fourier spectrometers and as the output window of the IR-lasers, was studied via applying carbon nanotubes in order to modify the potassium bromide surface. The laser-oriented deposition method [...] Read more.
A potassium bromide (KBr) material, which has been widely used as the key element in Fourier spectrometers and as the output window of the IR-lasers, was studied via applying carbon nanotubes in order to modify the potassium bromide surface. The laser-oriented deposition method was used to place the carbon nanotubes at the matrix material surface in the vertical position at different electric fields varying from 100 to 600 V × cm−1. The main idea of the improvement of the spectral properties of the potassium bromide structure is connected with the fact that the refractive index of the carbon nanotubes is substantially less than the refractive index of the studied material, and the small diameter of the carbon nanotubes allows one to embed these nano-objects in the voids of the lattice of the model matrix systems. Moreover, the mechanical characteristics and wetting features of potassium bromide structures have been investigated under the condition mentioned above. Analytical and quantum-chemical simulations have supported the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Optimization of Bilayered Nanoporous Anodic Alumina Structures as Multi-Point Interferometric Sensing Platform
Sensors 2018, 18(2), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020470
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Herein, we present an innovative strategy for optimizing hierarchical structures of nanoporous anodic alumina (NAA) to advance their optical sensing performance toward multi-analyte biosensing. This approach is based on the fabrication of multilayered NAA and the formation of differential effective medium of their [...] Read more.
Herein, we present an innovative strategy for optimizing hierarchical structures of nanoporous anodic alumina (NAA) to advance their optical sensing performance toward multi-analyte biosensing. This approach is based on the fabrication of multilayered NAA and the formation of differential effective medium of their structure by controlling three fabrication parameters (i.e., anodization steps, anodization time, and pore widening time). The rationale of the proposed concept is that interferometric bilayered NAA (BL-NAA), which features two layers of different pore diameters, can provide distinct reflectometric interference spectroscopy (RIfS) signatures for each layer within the NAA structure and can therefore potentially be used for multi-point biosensing. This paper presents the structural fabrication of layered NAA structures, and the optimization and evaluation of their RIfS optical sensing performance through changes in the effective optical thickness (EOT) using quercetin as a model molecule. The bilayered or funnel-like NAA structures were designed with the aim of characterizing the sensitivity of both layers of quercetin molecules using RIfS and exploring the potential of these photonic structures, featuring different pore diameters, for simultaneous size-exclusion and multi-analyte optical biosensing. The sensing performance of the prepared NAA platforms was examined by real-time screening of binding reactions between human serum albumin (HSA)-modified NAA (i.e., sensing element) and quercetin (i.e., analyte). BL-NAAs display a complex optical interference spectrum, which can be resolved by fast Fourier transform (FFT) to monitor the EOT changes, where three distinctive peaks were revealed corresponding to the top, bottom, and total layer within the BL-NAA structures. The spectral shifts of these three characteristic peaks were used as sensing signals to monitor the binding events in each NAA pore in real-time upon exposure to different concentrations of quercetin. The multi-point sensing performance of BL-NAAs was determined for each pore layer, with an average sensitivity and low limit of detection of 600 nm (mg mL−1)−1 and 0.14 mg mL−1, respectively. BL-NAAs photonic structures have the capability to be used as platforms for multi-point RIfS sensing of biomolecules that can be further extended for simultaneous size-exclusion separation and multi-analyte sensing using these bilayered nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
An Antibody-Immobilized Silica Inverse Opal Nanostructure for Label-Free Optical Biosensors
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010307
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Three-dimensional SiO2-based inverse opal (SiO2-IO) nanostructures were prepared for use as biosensors. SiO2-IO was fabricated by vertical deposition and calcination processes. Antibodies were immobilized on the surface of SiO2-IO using 3-aminopropyl trimethoxysilane (APTMS), a succinimidyl-[(N-maleimidopropionamido)-tetraethyleneglycol] [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional SiO2-based inverse opal (SiO2-IO) nanostructures were prepared for use as biosensors. SiO2-IO was fabricated by vertical deposition and calcination processes. Antibodies were immobilized on the surface of SiO2-IO using 3-aminopropyl trimethoxysilane (APTMS), a succinimidyl-[(N-maleimidopropionamido)-tetraethyleneglycol] ester (NHS-PEG4-maleimide) cross-linker, and protein G. The highly accessible surface and porous structure of SiO2-IO were beneficial for capturing influenza viruses on the antibody-immobilized surfaces. Moreover, as the binding leads to the redshift of the reflectance peak, the influenza virus could be detected by simply monitoring the change in the reflectance spectrum without labeling. SiO2-IO showed high sensitivity in the range of 103–105 plaque forming unit (PFU) and high specificity to the influenza A (H1N1) virus. Due to its structural and optical properties, SiO2-IO is a promising material for the detection of the influenza virus. Our study provides a generalized sensing platform for biohazards as various sensing strategies can be employed through the surface functionalization of three-dimensional nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity Analysis of Different Shapes of a Plastic Optical Fiber-Based Immunosensor for Escherichia coli: Simulation and Experimental Results
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2944; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122944
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conventional pathogen detection methods require trained personnel, specialized laboratories and can take days to provide a result. Thus, portable biosensors with rapid detection response are vital for the current needs for in-loco quality assays. In this work the authors analyze the characteristics of [...] Read more.
Conventional pathogen detection methods require trained personnel, specialized laboratories and can take days to provide a result. Thus, portable biosensors with rapid detection response are vital for the current needs for in-loco quality assays. In this work the authors analyze the characteristics of an immunosensor based on the evanescent field in plastic optical fibers with macro curvature by comparing experimental with simulated results. The work studies different shapes of evanescent-wave based fiber optic sensors, adopting a computational modeling to evaluate the probes with the best sensitivity. The simulation showed that for a U-Shaped sensor, the best results can be achieved with a sensor of 980 µm diameter by 5.0 mm in curvature for refractive index sensing, whereas the meander-shaped sensor with 250 μm in diameter with radius of curvature of 1.5 mm, showed better sensitivity for either bacteria and refractive index (RI) sensing. Then, an immunosensor was developed, firstly to measure refractive index and after that, functionalized to detect Escherichia coli. Based on the results with the simulation, we conducted studies with a real sensor for RI measurements and for Escherichia coli detection aiming to establish the best diameter and curvature radius in order to obtain an optimized sensor. On comparing the experimental results with predictions made from the modelling, good agreements were obtained. The simulations performed allowed the evaluation of new geometric configurations of biosensors that can be easily constructed and that promise improved sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Functionalized Tetrakis(4-Nitrophenyl)Porphyrin Film Optical Waveguide Sensor for Detection of H2S and Ethanediamine Gases
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2717; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122717
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ethanediamine, toxic gases that are emitted from industrial processes, is important for health and safety. An optical sensor, based on the absorption spectrum of tetrakis(4-nitrophenyl)porphyrin (TNPP) immobilized in a Nafion membrane (Nf) and deposited [...] Read more.
The detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ethanediamine, toxic gases that are emitted from industrial processes, is important for health and safety. An optical sensor, based on the absorption spectrum of tetrakis(4-nitrophenyl)porphyrin (TNPP) immobilized in a Nafion membrane (Nf) and deposited onto an optical waveguide glass slide, has been developed for the detection of these gases. Responses to analytes were compared for sensors modified with TNPP and Nf-TNPP composites. Among them, Nf-TNPP exhibited significant responses to H2S and ethanediamine. The analytical performance characteristics of the Nf-TNPP-modified sensor were investigated and the response mechanism is discussed in detail. The sensor exhibited excellent reproducibilities, reversibilities, and selectivities, with detection limits for H2S and ethanediamine of 1 and 10 ppb, respectively, and it is a promising candidate for use in industrial sensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
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Graphical abstract

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