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Special Issue "Polymeric Sensors"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Salvatore Graziani

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Elettronica e Informatica, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125, Catania, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sensors; actuators; polymeric transducers; organic electronics; Soft Sensors
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maria Gabriella Xibilia

Dipartimento di Ingegneria, University of Messina, Contrada di Dio, S. Agata, 98166 Messina ME, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: automatic control; system identification; nonlinear control; industrial automation; Soft Sensors; soft computing; machine learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our society is changing quickly because of the many endogenous and exogenous inputs. As a consequence, novel systems are required to increase our capability to monitor and act on the surrounding environment. It is possible to envisage that, in the coming years, smart systems will be developed to cope with this new need.

Regarding the new challenges imposed by the internal changes in society, it is enough to consider that Western society is undergoing a deep aging phenomenon. Old and/or elderly people will need artificial systems to check their levels of comfort or the sudden rise in the need of assistance so that better conditions for the lives of older adults can be assured. This will be possible if ICT-based products, services, and systems are developed. Such systems will increase the quality of life of elderly people and will reduce the costs of health and social care.

Another relevant field of application of smart systems will be health monitoring of human heritage and large structures. Our society recognizes the fundamental role played by human heritage as part of our identities. Nevertheless, human heritage largely consists of very fragile buildings and/or natural environments that need continuous monitoring to control the adverse effects produced by human presence and/or climate changes. The same need is shared by the surveillance of strategic structures that are the basis of modern society. Mobility structures (such as airports, railroads, motorways) and facility infrastructure (such as freshwater reservoirs, oil pipes, communication systems) need to be constantly monitored against accidents. Last but not least, many such systems could be the objects of terrorist attacks, with dramatic, and even irreversible, consequences for our safety and quality of life.

Smart systems require embedding sensing and actuating capabilities, signal processing, and electric power generation and management. Flexibility, stretchability, and resiliency are required since smart systems will work in unstructured and harsh environments. Moreover, there is also a need for ubiquitous smart systems, required for developing sustainable, environmentally-friendly systems. Biocompatible systems are required for implanted applications.

"More than Moore" solutions will complement silicon-based devices: New materials are needed for guaranteeing a significant diversification. Suitable production schemes are needed for allowing prosumers to develop their own systems. Polymeric sensing systems will play a relevant role in the development of smart systems. Though polymers have been already proposed for accumulating and harvesting energy, realizing electronic devices and obtaining energy transduction, proposed systems are, generally ungreen or based on discrete elements. There is the need for fully integrated sensing systems. New technologies are required for fabricating autonomous integrated smart sensing systems. The development of new materials is necessary for obtaining greener devices that can be easily recycled or disposed of. The realization of next generation composites requires, then, the development of new materials, models, and production procedures, functional subsystems, design tools, and fabrication systems.

Dr. Salvatore Graziani
Prof. Dr. Maria Gabriella Xibilia
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

  • polymeric sensors
  • smart sensing systems
  • nanocomposites
  • green chemistry
  • eco friendly materials
  • biocompatible materials
  • additive manufacturing
  • inkjet printing
  • multiplysic models
  • IoT
  • medicine
  • nanomedicine
  • aerospace
  • cultural heritage
  • infrastructures
  • robotics
  • bio-inspired robotics
  • smart systems
  • power harvesting

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Dimensions on the Deformation Sensing Performance of Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites
Sensors 2019, 19(9), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19092104
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract
As an excellent transducer, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) can act as both an actuator and a sensor. During its sensing process, many factors, such as the water content, the cation type, the surface electrode, and the dimensions of the IPMC sample, have a [...] Read more.
As an excellent transducer, ionic polymer-metal composites (IPMCs) can act as both an actuator and a sensor. During its sensing process, many factors, such as the water content, the cation type, the surface electrode, and the dimensions of the IPMC sample, have a considerable impact on the IPMC sensing performance. In this paper, the effect of dimensions focused on the Pd-Au typed IPMC samples with various thicknesses, widths, and lengths that were fabricated and their deformation sensing performances were tested and estimated using a self-made electromechanical sensing platform. In our experiments, we employed a two-sensing mode (both current and voltage) to record the signals generated by the IPMC bending. By comparison, it was found that the response trend was closer to the applied deformation curve using the voltage-sensing mode. The following conclusions were obtained. As the thickness increased, IPMC exhibited a better deformation-sensing performance. The thickness of the sample changed from 50 μm to 500 μm and corresponded to a voltage response signal from 0.3 to 1.6 mV. On the contrary, as the length increased, the sensing performance of IPMC decreased when subjected to equal bending. The width displayed a weaker effect on the sensing response. In order to obtain a stronger sensing response, a thickness increase, together with a length reduction, of the IPMC sample is a feasible way. Also, a simplified static model was proposed to successfully explain the sensing properties of IPMC with various sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Compressive Behavior of Composite Concrete Columns with Encased FRP Confined Concrete Cores
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081792
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
A composite concrete column with encased fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete cores (EFCCC) is proposed in this paper. The cross-sectional form of the EFCCC column is composed of several orderly arranged FRP confined concrete cores (FCCCs) surrounding a filled core concrete. This [...] Read more.
A composite concrete column with encased fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete cores (EFCCC) is proposed in this paper. The cross-sectional form of the EFCCC column is composed of several orderly arranged FRP confined concrete cores (FCCCs) surrounding a filled core concrete. This novel composite column has several advantages, such as higher compressive capacity, stronger FRP confinement, and ductile response. The compressive experiment is employed to investigate the compressive behavior of the EFCCC column with deferent parameters, such as outside concrete and stirrups. Test results show that the main failure mode of the EFCCC column with and without an outside concrete or stirrups is tensile fracture of the glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) tubes. Compared to a reinforced concrete (RC) column, the strength and ductility of the EFCCC column was obviously improved by 20% and 500%, respectively. A finite element model (FEM) based on the Drucker–Prager (D-P) was developed that can accurately predict the axial compression behavior of the composite column with FRP confined concrete core. The predicted results obtained by using this FEM have excellent agreement with the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Sensing Polymer Composite: White-Light-Illuminated Reinforcing Fibreglass Bundle for Deformation Monitoring
Sensors 2019, 19(7), 1745; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19071745
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The goal of our research was to develop a continuous glass fibre-reinforced epoxy matrix self-sensing composite. A fibre bundle arbitrarily chosen from the reinforcing glass fabric in the composite was prepared to guide white light. The power of the light transmitted by the [...] Read more.
The goal of our research was to develop a continuous glass fibre-reinforced epoxy matrix self-sensing composite. A fibre bundle arbitrarily chosen from the reinforcing glass fabric in the composite was prepared to guide white light. The power of the light transmitted by the fibres changes as a result of tensile loading. In our research, we show that a selected fibre bundle even without any special preparation can be used as a sensor to detect deformation even before the composite structure is damaged (before fibre breaking). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Highly Sensitive Pressure-Sensing Array for Blood Pressure Estimation Assisted by Machine-Learning Techniques
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040848
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 16 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
This work describes the development of a pressure-sensing array for noninvasive continuous blood pulse-wave monitoring. The sensing elements comprise a conductive polymer film and interdigital electrodes patterned on a flexible Parylene C substrate. The polymer film was patterned with microdome structures to enhance [...] Read more.
This work describes the development of a pressure-sensing array for noninvasive continuous blood pulse-wave monitoring. The sensing elements comprise a conductive polymer film and interdigital electrodes patterned on a flexible Parylene C substrate. The polymer film was patterned with microdome structures to enhance the acuteness of pressure sensing. The proposed device uses three pressure-sensing elements in a linear array, which greatly facilitates the blood pulse-wave measurement. The device exhibits high sensitivity (−0.533 kPa−1) and a fast dynamic response. Furthermore, various machine-learning algorithms, including random forest regression (RFR), gradient-boosting regression (GBR), and adaptive boosting regression (ABR), were employed for estimating systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) from the measured pulse-wave signals. Among these algorithms, the RFR-based method gave the best performance, with the coefficients of determination for the reference and estimated blood pressures being R2 = 0.871 for SBP and R2 = 0.794 for DBP, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Sensors)
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