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Sensors and Applications in Diagnostics, Food and Environmental Analysis

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2022) | Viewed by 25799

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Physiology, Italian National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy
Interests: sensors; biosensors; field effect transistors; bioengineering; bioimaging
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: saliva; plasma; analytical chemistry; calibration; sensors; microplastics

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Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology (IBBA), National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; nutraceuticals; functional foods; disease prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of sensors has rapidly grown in last two decades because of the development of smart and microtechnologies, and the demand for fast, pervasive, and real time monitoring of analytes. Since diagnostics, food, and environmental applications drive the research, this Special Issue addresses the most recent methods and materials to develop reliable sensors that can replace or support existing devices for point-of-care or lab analyses in these fields.

Dr. Pietro Salvo
Dr. Tommaso Lomonaco
Dr. Luisa Pozzo
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. 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 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

  • Biomarkers
  • Food
  • Pollutants
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • 1D and 2D materials
  • Wearables
  • Chemical sensors
  • Biosensors

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3623 KiB  
Communication
A Study on the Applicability of Thermodynamic Sensors in Fermentation Processes in Selected Foods
by Martin Adamek, Jiri Matyas, Anna Adamkova, Jiri Mlcek, Martin Buran, Martina Cernekova, Veronika Sevcikova, Magdalena Zvonkova, Petr Slobodian and Robert Olejnik
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1997; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051997 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
This study focuses on the use of thermodynamic sensors (TDS) in baking, brewing, and yogurt production at home. Using thermodynamic sensors, a change in the temperature flow between the two sensor elements during fermentation was observed for the final mixture (complete recipe for [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the use of thermodynamic sensors (TDS) in baking, brewing, and yogurt production at home. Using thermodynamic sensors, a change in the temperature flow between the two sensor elements during fermentation was observed for the final mixture (complete recipe for pizza dough production), showing the possibility of distinguishing some phases of the fermentation process. Even during the fermentation process in the preparation of wort and yogurt with non-traditional additives, the sensors were able to indicate significant parts of the process, including the end of the process. The research article also mentions as a new idea the use of trivial regulation at home in food production to determine the course of the fermentation process. The results presented in this article show the possibility of using TDS for more accurate characterization and adjustment of the production process of selected foods in the basic phase, which will be further applicable in the food industry, with the potential to reduce the cost of food production processes that involve a fermentation process. Full article
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29 pages, 10741 KiB  
Article
Smart Multi-Sensor System for Remote Air Quality Monitoring Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and LoRaWAN
by Rosa Camarillo-Escobedo, Jorge L. Flores, Pedro Marin-Montoya, Guillermo García-Torales and Juana M. Camarillo-Escobedo
Sensors 2022, 22(5), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22051706 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3537
Abstract
Deaths caused by respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have increased by 10%. Every year, exposure to high levels of air pollution is the cause of 7 million premature deaths and the loss of healthy years of life. Air pollution is generally caused by the [...] Read more.
Deaths caused by respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have increased by 10%. Every year, exposure to high levels of air pollution is the cause of 7 million premature deaths and the loss of healthy years of life. Air pollution is generally caused by the presence of CO, NO2, NH3, SO2, particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, mainly emitted by economic activities in large metropolitan areas. The problem increases considerably in the absence of national regulations and the design, installation, and maintenance of an expensive air quality monitoring network. A smart multi-sensor system to monitor air quality is proposed in this work. The system uses an unmanned aerial vehicle and LoRa communication as an alternative for remote and in-situ atmospheric measurements. The instrumentation was integrated modularly as a node sensor to measure the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and suspended particulate mass PM10 and PM2.5. The optimal design of the multi-sensor system has been developed under the following constraints: A low weight, compact design, and low power consumption. The integration of the multi-sensor device, UAV, and LoRa communications as a single system adds aeeded flexibility to currently fixed monitoring stations. Full article
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16 pages, 2806 KiB  
Article
Beta-Lactam Antibiotic Discrimination Using a Macromolecular Sensor in Water at Neutral pH
by Yifei Xu and Marco Bonizzoni
Sensors 2021, 21(19), 6384; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21196384 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2200
Abstract
Penicillins and cephalosporins belong to the β-lactam antibiotic family, which accounts for more than half of the world market for antibiotics. Misuse of antibiotics harms human health and the environment. Here, we describe an easy, fast, and sensitive optical method for the sensing [...] Read more.
Penicillins and cephalosporins belong to the β-lactam antibiotic family, which accounts for more than half of the world market for antibiotics. Misuse of antibiotics harms human health and the environment. Here, we describe an easy, fast, and sensitive optical method for the sensing and discrimination of two penicillin and five cephalosporin antibiotics in buffered water at pH 7.4, using fifth-generation poly (amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers and calcein, a commercially available macromolecular polyelectrolyte and a fluorescent dye, respectively. In aqueous solution at pH 7.4, the dendrimer and dye self-assemble to form a sensor that interacts with carboxylate-containing antibiotics through electrostatic interaction, monitored through changes in the dye’s spectroscopic properties. This response was captured through absorbance, fluorescence emission, and fluorescence anisotropy. The resulting data set was processed through linear discriminant analysis (LDA), a common pattern-base recognition method, for the differentiation of cephalosporins and penicillins. By pre-hydrolysis of the β-lactam rings under basic conditions, we were able to increase the charge density of the analytes, allowing us to discriminate the seven analytes at a concentration of 5 mM, with a limit of discrimination of 1 mM. Full article
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15 pages, 1503 KiB  
Article
Analytical Parameters of a Novel Glucose Biosensor Based on Grafted PFM as a Covalent Immobilization Technique
by Margalida Artigues, Joan Gilabert-Porres, Robert Texidó, Salvador Borrós, Jordi Abellà and Sergi Colominas
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 4185; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21124185 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3151
Abstract
Bioanalytical methods, in particular electrochemical biosensors, are increasingly used in different industrial sectors due to their simplicity, low cost, and fast response. However, to be able to reliably use this type of device, it is necessary to undertake in-depth evaluation of their fundamental [...] Read more.
Bioanalytical methods, in particular electrochemical biosensors, are increasingly used in different industrial sectors due to their simplicity, low cost, and fast response. However, to be able to reliably use this type of device, it is necessary to undertake in-depth evaluation of their fundamental analytical parameters. In this work, analytical parameters of an amperometric biosensor based on covalent immobilization of glucose oxidase (GOx) were evaluated. GOx was immobilized using plasma-grafted pentafluorophenyl methacrylate (pgPFM) as an anchor onto a tailored HEMA-co-EGDA hydrogel that coats a titanium dioxide nanotubes array (TiO2NTAs). Finally, chitosan was used to protect the enzyme molecules. The biosensor offered outstanding analytical parameters: repeatability (RSD = 1.7%), reproducibility (RSD = 1.3%), accuracy (deviation = 4.8%), and robustness (RSD = 2.4%). In addition, the Ti/TiO2NTAs/ppHEMA-co-EGDA/pgPFM/GOx/Chitosan biosensor showed good long-term stability; after 20 days, it retained 89% of its initial sensitivity. Finally, glucose concentrations of different food samples were measured and compared using an official standard method (HPLC). Deviation was lower than 10% in all measured samples. Therefore, the developed biosensor can be considered to be a reliable analytical tool for quantification measurements. Full article
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11 pages, 1218 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Using Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy for Assessing Biological Cell Damage during Freezing and Thawing
by Sisay Mebre Abie, Ørjan Grøttem Martinsen, Bjørg Egelandsdal, Jie Hou, Frøydis Bjerke, Alex Mason and Daniel Münch
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 4129; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21124129 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
This study was performed to test bioimpedance as a tool to detect the effect of different thawing methods on meat quality to aid in the eventual creation of an electric impedance-based food quality monitoring system. The electric impedance was measured for fresh pork, [...] Read more.
This study was performed to test bioimpedance as a tool to detect the effect of different thawing methods on meat quality to aid in the eventual creation of an electric impedance-based food quality monitoring system. The electric impedance was measured for fresh pork, thawed pork, and during quick and slow thawing. A clear difference was observed between fresh and thawed samples for both impedance parameters. Impedance was different between the fresh and the frozen-thawed samples, but there were no impedance differences between frozen-thawed samples and the ones that were frozen-thawed and then stored at +3 °C for an additional 16 h after thawing. The phase angle was also different between fresh and the frozen-thawed samples. At high frequency, there were small, but clear phase angle differences between frozen-thawed samples and the samples that were frozen-thawed and subsequently stored for more than 16 h at +3 °C. Furthermore, the deep learning model LSTM-RNN (long short-term memory recurrent neural network) was found to be a promising way to classify the different methods of thawing. Full article
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18 pages, 3316 KiB  
Article
Discrimination and Quantitation of Biologically Relevant Carboxylate Anions Using A [Dye•PAMAM] Complex
by Yifei Xu and Marco Bonizzoni
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3637; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21113637 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2234
Abstract
Carboxylate anions are analytical targets with environmental and biological relevance, whose detection is often challenging in aqueous solutions. We describe a method for discrimination and quantitation of carboxylates in water buffered to pH 7.4 based on their differential interaction with a supramolecular fluorescent [...] Read more.
Carboxylate anions are analytical targets with environmental and biological relevance, whose detection is often challenging in aqueous solutions. We describe a method for discrimination and quantitation of carboxylates in water buffered to pH 7.4 based on their differential interaction with a supramolecular fluorescent sensor, self-assembled from readily available building blocks. A fifth-generation poly(amidoamine) dendrimer (PAMAM G5), bound to organic fluorophores (calcein or pyranine) through noncovalent interactions, forms a [dye•PAMAM] complex responsive to interaction with carboxylates. The observed changes in absorbance, and in fluorescence emission and anisotropy, were interpreted through linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and principal component analysis (PCA) to differentiate 10 structurally similar carboxylates with a limit of discrimination around 100 μM. The relationship between the analytes’ chemical structures and the system’s response was also elucidated. This insight allowed us to extend the system’s capabilities to the simultaneous identification of the nature and concentration of unknown analytes, with excellent structural identification results and good concentration recovery, an uncommon feat for a pattern-based sensing system. Full article
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13 pages, 2209 KiB  
Article
Real-Time Detection of Fouling-Layer with a Non-Intrusive Continuous Sensor (NICS) during Thermal Processing in Food Manufacturing
by Fernando José Cantarero Rivera, Dharmendra K Mishra, Ferhan Ozadali and Patnarin Benyathiar
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041271 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
The fouling of indirect shell and coil heat exchanger by heavy whipping cream (HWC) and non-fat dry milk (NFDM) was studied at aseptic Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processing conditions (140 °C) using a novel non-intrusive sensor. The sensor emitted a heat pulse intermittently throughout [...] Read more.
The fouling of indirect shell and coil heat exchanger by heavy whipping cream (HWC) and non-fat dry milk (NFDM) was studied at aseptic Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processing conditions (140 °C) using a novel non-intrusive sensor. The sensor emitted a heat pulse intermittently throughout the duration of the process causing an incremental increase in temperature at the tube external surface. The temperature response of the sensor varied due to the radial growth of the fouling layer formed by certain components of the products. Each heating pulse and the temperature response was studied to estimate the thermal conductivity of the fouling layer using inverse problems and parameter estimation. The changes in thermal conductivity were used as an indication of the fouling layer development during food processing at UHT temperatures. The estimated parameters from experimental results showed a decreasing trend in the thermal conductivity of HWC and NFDM from 0.35 to 0.10 and 0.63 to 0.37, respectively. An image analysis tool was developed and used to measure the fouling layer thickness at the end of each trial. The measured thickness was found to be 0.58 ± 0.15 for HWC and 0.56 ± 0.07 mm for NFDM. The fouling layer resistance for HWC and NFDM was 5.95 × 10−3 ± 1.53 × 10−3 and 1.53 × 10−3 ± 2.0 × 10−4 (m2K)/W, respectively. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 2497 KiB  
Review
Biosensing Applications Using Nanostructure-Based Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensors
by Dong Min Kim, Jong Seong Park, Seung-Woon Jung, Jinho Yeom and Seung Min Yoo
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3191; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093191 - 4 May 2021
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 5709
Abstract
Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)-based biosensors have recently garnered increasing attention due to their potential to allow label-free, portable, low-cost, and real-time monitoring of diverse analytes. Recent developments in this technology have focused on biochemical markers in clinical and environmental settings coupled with [...] Read more.
Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)-based biosensors have recently garnered increasing attention due to their potential to allow label-free, portable, low-cost, and real-time monitoring of diverse analytes. Recent developments in this technology have focused on biochemical markers in clinical and environmental settings coupled with advances in nanostructure technology. Therefore, this review focuses on the recent advances in LSPR-based biosensor technology for the detection of diverse chemicals and biomolecules. Moreover, we also provide recent examples of sensing strategies based on diverse nanostructure platforms, in addition to their advantages and limitations. Finally, this review discusses potential strategies for the development of biosensors with enhanced sensing performance. Full article
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