A magnetic-based immunoassay (MBI) combined with biotin-streptavidin amplification was proposed for butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) investigation and risk assessment. The values of LOD (limit of detection, IC10) and IC50 were 0.57 ng/mL and 119.61 ng/mL, with a detection range of 0.57–24977.71 ng/mL for MBI. The specificity, accuracy and precision are well demonstrated. A total of 36 environmental water samples of urban sewage from Zhenjiang, China, were collected and assessed for BBP contamination. The results show that BBP-positive levels ranged from 2.47 to 89.21 ng/mL, with a positive rate of 77.8%. The health effects of BBP in the urban sewage were within a controllable range, and the ambient severity for health (ASI) was below 1.49. The highest value of AS for ecology (ASII) was 7.43, which indicates a potential harm to ecology. The entropy value of risk quotient was below 100, the highest being 59.47, which poses a low risk to the environment and ecology, indicating that there is a need to strengthen BBP controls. The non-carcinogenic risk of BBP exposure from drinking water was higher for females than that for males, and the non-carcinogenic risk from drinking-water and bathing pathways was negligible. This study could provide an alternative method for detecting BBP and essential information for controlling BBP contamination.
Rapid, selective, and cost-effective detection and determination of clinically relevant biomolecule analytes for a better understanding of biological and physiological functions are becoming increasingly prominent. In this regard, biosensors represent a powerful tool to meet these requirements. Recent decades have seen biosensors gaining popularity due to their ability to design sensor platforms that are selective to determine target analytes. Naturally generated receptor units have a high affinity for their targets, which provides the selectivity of a device. However, such receptors are subject to instability under harsh environmental conditions and have consequently low durability. By applying principles of supramolecular chemistry, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) can successfully replace natural receptors to circumvent these shortcomings. This review summarizes the recent achievements and analytical applications of electrosynthesized MIPs, in particular, for the detection of protein-based biomarkers. The scope of this review also includes the background behind electrochemical readouts and the origin of the gate effect in MIP-based biosensors.
Utilizing an appropriate enzyme immobilization strategy is crucial for designing enzyme-based biosensors. Plant virus-like particles represent ideal nanoscaffolds for an extremely dense and precise immobilization of enzymes, due to their regular shape, high surface-to-volume ratio and high density of surface binding sites. In the present work, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) particles were applied for the co-immobilization of penicillinase and urease onto the gate surface of a field-effect electrolyte-insulator-semiconductor capacitor (EISCAP) with a p-Si-SiO2-Ta2O5 layer structure for the sequential detection of penicillin and urea. The TMV-assisted bi-enzyme EISCAP biosensor exhibited a high urea and penicillin sensitivity of 54 and 85 mV/dec, respectively, in the concentration range of 0.1–3 mM. For comparison, the characteristics of single-enzyme EISCAP biosensors modified with TMV particles immobilized with either penicillinase or urease were also investigated. The surface morphology of the TMV-modified Ta2O5-gate was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. Additionally, the bi-enzyme EISCAP was applied to mimic an XOR (Exclusive OR) enzyme logic gate.
Although iron is an essential constituent for almost all living organisms, iron dyshomeostasis at a cellular level may trigger oxidative stress and neuronal damage. Hence, there are numerous reported carbon dots (CDs) that have been synthesized and applied to determine intracellular iron ions. However, among reported CDs focused to detect Fe3+ ions, only a few CDs have been designed to specifically determine Fe2+ ions over Fe3+ ions for monitoring of intracellular Fe2+ ions. We have developed the nitrogen-doped CDs (NCDs) for fluorescence turn-off detection of Fe2+ at cellular level. The as-synthesized NCDs exhibit a strong blue fluorescence and low cytotoxicity, acting as fluorescence probes to detect Fe2+ as low as 0.702 µM in aqueous solution within 2 min and visualize intracellular Fe2+ in the concentration range from 0 to 500 µM within 20 min. The as-prepared NCDs possess some advantages such as high biocompatibility, strong fluorescence properties, selectivity, and rapidity for intracellular Fe2+ monitoring, making NCDs an excellent nanoprobe for biosensing of intracellular ferrous ions.
The increasing use of nanomaterials and scalable, high-yield nanofabrication process are revolutionizing the development of novel biosensors. Over the past decades, researches on nanotechnology-mediated biosensing have been on the forefront due to their potential application in healthcare, pharmaceutical, cell diagnosis, drug delivery, and water and air quality monitoring. The advancement of nanoscale science relies on a better understanding of theory, manufacturing and fabrication practices, and the application specific methods. The topology and tunable properties of nanoparticles, a part of nanoscale science, can be changed by different manufacturing processes, which separate them from their bulk counterparts. In the recent past, different nanostructures, such as nanosphere, nanorods, nanofiber, core–shell nanoparticles, nanotubes, and thin films, have been exploited to enhance the detectability of labelled or label-free biological molecules with a high accuracy. Furthermore, these engineered-materials-associated transducing devices, e.g., optical waveguides and metasurface-based scattering media, widened the horizon of biosensors over a broad wavelength range from deep-ultraviolet to far-infrared. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the major scientific achievements in nano-biosensors based on optical fiber, nanomaterials and terahertz-domain metasurface-based refractometric, labelled and label-free nano-biosensors.
In this paper, we propose an improved electrochemical platform based on graphene for the detection of DNA hybridization. Commercial screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs) were used for this purpose due to their ease of functionalization and miniaturization opportunities. SPCEs were modified with reduced graphene oxide (RGO), offering a suitable surface for further functionalization. Therefore, aryl-carboxyl groups were integrated onto RGO-modified electrodes by electrochemical reduction of the corresponding diazonium salt to provide enough reaction sites for the covalent immobilization of amino-modified DNA probes. Our final goal was to determine the optimum conditions needed to fabricate a simple, label-free RGO-based electrochemical platform to detect the hybridization between two complementary single-stranded DNA molecules. Each modification step in the fabrication process was monitored by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) using [Fe(CN)6]3−/4− as a redox reporter. Although, the diazonium electrografted layer displayed the expected blocking effect of the charge transfer, the next steps in the modification procedure resulted in enhanced electron transfer properties of the electrode interface. We suggest that the improvement in the charge transfer after the DNA hybridization process could be exploited as a prospective sensing feature. The morphological and structural characterization of the modified electrodes performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, were used to validate different modification steps in the platform fabrication process.
Measuring pH has become a major key for determining health conditions, and food safety. The traditional pH assessment approaches are costly and offer low sensitivity. Here, a novel pH sensor based on a pH-responsive hydrogel has been developed. A Fresnel lens pattern was replicated on the surface of the pH-responsive hydrogel using the replica mould method. The pH sensors were tested in a pH range of 4–7. Introducing various pH solutions to the pH sensor led to volumetric shifts as the hydrogel swelled with pH. Consequently, the dimensions of the replicated Fresnel lens changed, modifying the focal length and the focus efficiency of the optical sensor. As a result, the measured optical power at a fixed distance from the sensor changed with pH. The optical sensor showed the best performance in the acidic region when pH changed from 4.5 to 5.5, in which the recorded power increased by 13%. The sensor exhibited high sensitivity to pH changes with a short respond time in a reversible manner. The developed pH optical sensor may have applications in medical point-of-care diagnostics and wearable continuous pH detection devices.
Detection of microbial contamination in water is imperative to ensure water quality. We have developed an electrochemical method for the detection of E. coli using bi-functional magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) conjugates. The bi-functional MNP conjugates were prepared by terminal-specific conjugation of anti-E. coli IgG antibody and the electroactive marker ferrocene. The bi-functional MNP conjugate possesses both E. coli-specific binding and electroactive properties, which were studied in detail. The conjugation efficiency of ferrocene and IgG antibodies with amine-functionalized MNPs was investigated. Square-wave voltammetry enabled the detection of E. coli concentrations ranging from 101–107 cells/mL in a dose-dependent manner, as ferrocene-specific current signals were inversely dependent on E. coli concentrations, completely suppressed at concentrations higher than 107 cells/mL. The developed electrochemical method is highly sensitive (10 cells/mL) and, coupled to magnetic separation, provides specific signals within 1h. Overall, the bi-functional conjugates serve as ideal candidates for electrochemical detection of waterborne bacteria. This approach can be applied for the detection of other bacteria and viruses.
As one of the pivotal signal molecules, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has been demonstrated to play important roles in many physiological processes of plants. Continuous monitoring of H2O2 in vivo could help understand its regulation mechanism more clearly. In this study, a disposable electrochemical microsensor for H2O2 was developed. This microsensor consists of three parts: low-cost stainless-steel wire with a diameter of 0.1 mm modified by gold nanoparticles (disposable working electrode), an untreated platinum wire with a diameter of 0.1 mm (counter electrode), and an Ag/AgCl wire with a diameter of 0.1 mm (reference electrode), respectively. The microsensor could detect H2O2 in levels from 10 to 1000 µM and exhibited excellent selectivity. On this basis, the dynamic change in H2O2 in the vein of tomato leaf under high salinity was continuously monitored in vivo. The results showed that the production of H2O2 could be induced by high salinity within two hours. This study suggests that the disposable electrochemical microsensor not only suits continuously detecting H2O2 in microscopic plant tissue in vivo but also reduces the damage to plants. Overall, our strategy will help to pave the foundation for further investigation of the generation, transportation, and elimination mechanism of H2O2 in plants.
Cancer is the top cause of death globally. Developing smart nanomedicines that are capable of diagnosis and therapy (theranostics) in one–nanoparticle systems are highly desirable for improving cancer treatment outcomes. The magnetic nanoplatforms are the ideal system for cancer theranostics, because of their diverse physiochemical properties and biological effects. In particular, a biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticle based magnetic nanoplatform can exhibit multiple magnetic–responsive behaviors under an external magnetic field and realize the integration of diagnosis (magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonic imaging, photoacoustic imaging, etc.) and therapy (magnetic hyperthermia, photothermal therapy, controlled drug delivery and release, etc.) in vivo. Furthermore, due to considerable variation among tumors and individual patients, it is a requirement to design iron oxide nanoplatforms by the coordination of diverse functionalities for efficient and individualized theranostics. In this article, we will present an up–to–date overview on iron oxide nanoplatforms, including both iron oxide nanomaterials and those that can respond to an externally applied magnetic field, with an emphasis on their applications in cancer theranostics.