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Special Issue "Advanced Electrochemical Sensors and Environmental Monitoring"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Federica Valentini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences and Chemical Technologies, University of Rome Tor Vergata, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: electrochemical sensors; nanomaterials; nanocomposites; portable devices for environmental monitoring and cultural heritage; chemically modified electrodes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ligia Maria Moretto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre, Italy
Interests: development of electrochemical sensors and biosensors for electrochemical and biomedical applications; environmental electroanalysis; modified electrodes; nanoelectrodes and arrays of nanoelectrodes; nanostructured electrodes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. David Gabriel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
GENOCOV, Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: environmental and chemical engineering; characterization and biological treatment of gaseous effluents; biofiltration; sulfur and nitrogen cycle; monitoring and modelling of bioprocesses; biofilms; nutrient removal; industrial waste management; urban solid waste management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our world is constantly evolving. New manufacturing companies and products used in everyday life are responsible for environmental problems and other serious problems. Modern industrial activities have left wide-spread hazardous pollution in soil, water, and the atmosphere. Furthermore, there is a global concern about the environmental impact of persistent pollutants in the environment. In this context, attempts to develop novel methods/technologies for environmental monitoring in real-time have become one of the main challenges of analytical chemistry. Since traditional analytical methods consist of multiple steps (e.g., sampling, transport, and pre-treatment) and are rather costly and time consuming, the emphasis nowadays is shifted towards the use of remote, automated systems in a miniaturized fashion. The tracking of chemical compounds in the environment remains challenging due to the full integration of the sensing system in an autonomous manner. It must be considered that a fully integrated device must provide storage containers, power supply, detection, and electronics for process control and data transfer.

This field represents a particularly important and demanding area in which electrochemical sensors and biosensors find growing employment, where new sensing problems and challenges are continuously emerging, and where new innovative solutions are achieved. The well-known characteristics of electrochemical sensors, such as low detection limits, sensitivity, portability, and the possibility of automation and customization, are responsible for the success of these devices. 

Indeed, sensors based on electrochemical and bioelectrochemical principles have become more widespread in recent years to monitor environmental conditions in a variety of systems, processes, and environments ranging from mixed and defined systems to static, complex biofilms found in several environmental conditions. These devices allow measurements discontinuously (“single shot” sensors or repetitive measurements), continuously (over a short period, such as detectors in flow systems), or permanently (over a long period), which can be very attractive in the environmental field.

In this Special Issue, we encourage scientists worldwide to provide impactful research regarding each one of the aforementioned requirements in a fully deployable device.

Prof. Dr. Federica Valentini
Prof. Dr. Ligia Maria Moretto
Prof. Dr. David Gabriel
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

  • Environmental and bioprocess monitoring
  • Biofilms profiling and characterization
  • Microelectrodes
  • Inkjet printing
  • Nanomaterials and sensors
  • Chemically modified electrodes
  • Integrated portable sensor arrays
  • Sensors tattoo
  • Deployable devices

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Cadmium-Sensitive Measurement Using a Nano-Copper-Enhanced Carbon Fiber Electrode
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4901; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224901 - 09 Nov 2019
Abstract
Enrichment of cadmium ion (Cd2+) from the environment may lead to kidney disease and weakened immunity in the body. Current techniques are not convenient enough to measure Cd2+ concentration in the environment due to low sensitivity and poor linear range. [...] Read more.
Enrichment of cadmium ion (Cd2+) from the environment may lead to kidney disease and weakened immunity in the body. Current techniques are not convenient enough to measure Cd2+ concentration in the environment due to low sensitivity and poor linear range. In this paper, a new measurement technique is proposed using a new sensing electrode made of nano-copper-enhanced carbon fiber. Nano-copper was deposited onto the surface of carbon fiber to enhance the current concentration and mass transfer rate of Cd2+ during measurement, which improved the electrochemical detection sensitivity significantly (by up to 3.7 × 108 nA/nM) and broadened the linear range to 10~105 nM. This device provides a low-cost solution for measuring Cd2+ concentration in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Electrochemical Sensors and Environmental Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle
A Minimally Invasive Microsensor Specially Designed for Simultaneous Dissolved Oxygen and pH Biofilm Profiling
Sensors 2019, 19(21), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214747 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
A novel sensing device for simultaneous dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH monitoring specially designed for biofilm profiling is presented in this work. This device enabled the recording of instantaneous DO and pH dynamic profiles within biofilms, improving the tools available for the study [...] Read more.
A novel sensing device for simultaneous dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH monitoring specially designed for biofilm profiling is presented in this work. This device enabled the recording of instantaneous DO and pH dynamic profiles within biofilms, improving the tools available for the study and the characterization of biological systems. The microsensor consisted of two parallel arrays of microelectrodes. Microelectrodes used for DO sensing were bare gold electrodes, while microelectrodes used for pH sensing were platinum-based electrodes modified using electrodeposited iridium oxide. The device was fabricated with a polyimide (Kapton®) film of 127 µm as a substrate for minimizing the damage caused on the biofilm structure during its insertion. The electrodes were covered with a Nafion® layer to increase sensor stability and repeatability and to avoid electrode surface fouling. DO microelectrodes showed a linear response in the range 0–8 mg L−1, a detection limit of 0.05 mg L−1, and a sensitivity of 2.06 nA L mg−1. pH electrodes showed a linear super-Nernstian response (74.2 ± 0.7 mV/pH unit) in a wide pH range (pH 4−9). The multi-analyte sensor array was validated in a flat plate bioreactor where simultaneous and instantaneous pH and DO profiles within a sulfide oxidizing biofilm were recorded. The electrodes spatial resolution, the monitoring sensitivity, and the minimally invasive features exhibited by the proposed microsensor improved biofilm monitoring performance, enabling the quantification of mass transfer resistances and the assessment of biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Electrochemical Sensors and Environmental Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle
Redesigning an Electrochemical MIP Sensor for PFOS: Practicalities and Pitfalls
Sensors 2019, 19(20), 4433; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19204433 - 13 Oct 2019
Abstract
There is a growing interest in the technological transfer of highly performing electrochemical sensors within portable analytical devices for the in situ monitoring of environmental contaminants, such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). In the redesign of biomimetic sensors, many parameters should be taken into [...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in the technological transfer of highly performing electrochemical sensors within portable analytical devices for the in situ monitoring of environmental contaminants, such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). In the redesign of biomimetic sensors, many parameters should be taken into account from the working conditions to the electrode surface roughness. A complete characterization of the surface modifiers can help to avoid time-consuming optimizations and better interpret the sensor responses. In the present study, a molecularly imprinted polymer electrochemical sensor (MIP) for PFOS optimized on gold disk electrodes was redesigned on commercial gold screen-printed electrodes. However, its performance investigated by differential pulse voltammetry was found to be poor. Before proceeding with further optimization, a morphological study of the bare and modified electrode surfaces was carried out by scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM–EDS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and profilometry revealing an heterogeneous distribution of the polymer strongly influenced by the electrode roughness. The high content of fluorine of the target-template molecule allowed to map the distribution of the molecularly imprinted polymer before the template removal and to define a characterization protocol. This case study shows the importance of a multi-analytical characterization approach and identify significant parameters to be considered in similar redesigning studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Electrochemical Sensors and Environmental Monitoring)
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