Special Issue "Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors"

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A special issue of Chemosensors (ISSN 2227-9040).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter

Polymeric Microsystems, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden 01062, Germany
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Phone: +49-351-463-36336
Fax: +49-351-463-37021
Interests: microsystems; system integration; microfluidics; chemical sensors and sensor systems; imaging systems; energy harvesting; actuator systems; intrinsically active polymers; chemical information processing
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Arndt

Chair Physical Chemistry of Polymers , Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry , Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
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Interests: physical chemistry of polymers; characterisation of polymers; polymer networks; light scattering
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gerald Gerlach

Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of Solid State Electronics, Technische Universität Dresden and Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
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Interests: physical and chemical sensors; modelling and simulation; functional materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymer gels are an astonishing and fascinating material. At a first glance, they are just composed of a cross-linked polymer network and interstitial fluid. But their ability to absorb large amounts of water or other solvents and – associated with this – a huge volume change make them ideal candidates for technical applications. Apart from the swelling, two other properties make hydrogels especially attractive:

First, a strong volume change can be excited by a large spectrum of different physical and chemical factors. This regards for instance temperature, electrical voltage, pH, concentration of organic compounds in water, and salt and ion concentrations. Second, the volume change due to these physical or chemical stimuli is reversible. Hence, hydrogels are chemo-mechanical transducers converting chemical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa. This offers a huge potential for new sensor and actuator principles especially for applications in all fields where aqueous solutions play a decisive role, e.g. in process engineering, fluidics, chemistry, cell biology, and drug delivery. Such a behaviour makes hydrogels real “smart” materials.

Meanwhile, the first industrial applications of hydrogel-based sensor technology were reported. The next-generation sensors will not only be able to measure measurands other than traditional pH value or solvent concentration but will also provide new features like autarkic operation or the automatic adjustment of the measurement range. However, the utilization of these materials for chemical sensors still shows plenty of problems to be solved because sensors traditionally need properties like long-term stable characteristics, high reproducibility in the percent range and a selectivity towards the measurand without interference from other quantities.

To overcome these challenges new insights into the nature and the operation of hydrogels as part of technical systems are needed. Therefore we proposed this Special Issue to bring together new results in research and development that focus on the most recent advances in (i) phase-transition phenomena of stimuli-responsive hydrogels useful for sensor applications including their physical basis and modelling, (ii) basic transducer principles of hydrogel-based chemical sensors, (3) advanced systems employing hydrogel-based sensors, and (iv) novel or advanced approaches regarding the processing of hydrogels, the integration of hydrogels into technical environments and the fabrication of hydrogel-based sensors.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter
Prof. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Arndt
Prof. Dr. Gerald Gerlach
Guest Editors

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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.

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Keywords

  • stimuli-responsive hydrogels
  • phase transition phenomena
  • physics and modelling
  • transducer principles
  • advanced sensor systems

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Piezoresistive Chemical Sensors Based on Functionalized Hydrogels
Chemosensors 2014, 2(2), 145-170; doi:10.3390/chemosensors2020145
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thin films of analyte-specific hydrogels were combined with microfabricated piezoresistive pressure transducers to obtain chemomechanical sensors that can serve as selective biochemical sensors for a continuous monitoring of metabolites. The gel swelling pressure has been monitored in simulated physiological solutions by means of
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Thin films of analyte-specific hydrogels were combined with microfabricated piezoresistive pressure transducers to obtain chemomechanical sensors that can serve as selective biochemical sensors for a continuous monitoring of metabolites. The gel swelling pressure has been monitored in simulated physiological solutions by means of the output signal of piezoresistive sensors. The interference by fructose, human serum albumin, pH, and ionic concentration on glucose sensing was studied. With the help of a database containing the calibration curves of the hydrogel-based sensors at different values of pH and ionic strength, the corrected values of pH and glucose concentration were determined using a novel calibration algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)
Open AccessArticle Chemo-Electrical Signal Transduction by Using Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Gate-Modified Field Effect Transistor
Chemosensors 2014, 2(2), 97-107; doi:10.3390/chemosensors2020097
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 10 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A glucose-responsive polymer brush was designed on a gold electrode and exploited as an extended gate for a field effect transistor (FET) based biosensor. A permittivity change at the gate interface due to the change in hydration upon specific binding with glucose was
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A glucose-responsive polymer brush was designed on a gold electrode and exploited as an extended gate for a field effect transistor (FET) based biosensor. A permittivity change at the gate interface due to the change in hydration upon specific binding with glucose was detectable. The rate of response was markedly enhanced compared to the previously studied cross-linked or gel-coupled electrode, owing to its kinetics involving no process of the polymer network diffusion. This finding may offer a new strategy of the FET-based biosensors effective not only for large molecules but also for electrically neutral molecules such as glucose with improved kinetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)
Open AccessArticle Swelling Properties of Hydrogels Containing Phenylboronic Acids
Chemosensors 2014, 2(1), 1-12; doi:10.3390/chemosensors2010001
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 19 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phenylboronic acids are a class of compounds that bind glucose and other sugars. When polymerized into hydrogels, they provide a convenient nonenzymatic means for sensing glucose concentration, provided competing sugars are present at negligible concentrations. In this paper we provide a comprehensive study
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Phenylboronic acids are a class of compounds that bind glucose and other sugars. When polymerized into hydrogels, they provide a convenient nonenzymatic means for sensing glucose concentration, provided competing sugars are present at negligible concentrations. In this paper we provide a comprehensive study of swelling of hydrogels containing methacrylamidophenylboronic acid (MPBA), as a function of pH and concentration of either glucose or fructose. In one set of hydrogels, MPBA is substituted at 20 mol·% in a polyacrylamide hydrogel [p(MPBA-co-AAm)], while in a second set of hydrogels, 20 mol·% MPBA is supplemented with 20 mol·% of N-3-(dimethylaminopropyl methacrylamide) [p(MPBA-co-DMP-co-AAm)]. Swelling curves are markedly different for fructose and glucose, and for the two sets of hydrogels. While fructose alters swelling by binding and contributing to the ionization of MPBA, glucose does the same, but it also can form crosslinking bridges between separate chains, leading to hydrogel shrinkage. While the [p(MPBA-co-AAm)] hydrogels behaved as polyacids, swelling monotonically with increasing pH, the [p(MPBA-co-DMP-co-AAm)] hydrogels exhibited polyampholyte behavior, with swelling minima at intermediate pH values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)
Open AccessArticle An Improved Design for Chemomechanical Sensors: A Piezoresistive Pressure Sensor with a Mechanical Boss
Chemosensors 2013, 1(3), 33-42; doi:10.3390/chemosensors1030033
Received: 24 August 2013 / Revised: 14 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 October 2013 / Published: 28 October 2013
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Abstract
Stimuli-responsive hydrogels can be used to convert miniature pressure sensors into novel chemomechanical sensors via confinement of the hydrogel sample between a porous membrane and a piezoresistive diaphragm. Chemomechanical sensors could prove beneficial in a variety of applications, including continuous monitoring of bioreactors
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Stimuli-responsive hydrogels can be used to convert miniature pressure sensors into novel chemomechanical sensors via confinement of the hydrogel sample between a porous membrane and a piezoresistive diaphragm. Chemomechanical sensors could prove beneficial in a variety of applications, including continuous monitoring of bioreactors and biomedical systems. In this study, one hydrogel composition with a high sensitivity to changes in pH was tested in two different chemomechanical sensors in order to compare the data obtained from each sensor design. In the first and older chemomechanical sensor design, a prefabricated hydrogel sample is loaded into the sensor chamber using a screw-on cap. In the newer sensor design, a thinner hydrogel is synthesized in situ and is held in place by a silicon boss that is mechanically connected to a piezoresistive diaphragm. The newer design results in a decreased chemomechanical sensor response time (by 60 times), and maintains a high sensitivity to changes in environmental stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Hydrophobic Pollution on Response of Thermo-Sensitive Hydrogel
Chemosensors 2013, 1(3), 21-32; doi:10.3390/chemosensors1030021
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrogels are widely studied for chemical sensors. However, they are known to adsorb organic compound and metal ions. The adsorption abilities of hydrogels against organic compounds and metal ions will negatively affect the performance of a hydrogel based chemical sensor. To clarify the
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Hydrogels are widely studied for chemical sensors. However, they are known to adsorb organic compound and metal ions. The adsorption abilities of hydrogels against organic compounds and metal ions will negatively affect the performance of a hydrogel based chemical sensor. To clarify the effect of hydrophobic pollution on swelling behavior of temperature-sensitive gel, the temperature-responses of spherical N,N-diethylacrylamide (DEAA) gel in phenol solution were evaluated using the collective polymer diffusion constant. Phenol was selected as a model hydrophobic pollution. The equilibrium radius of DEAA gel changed discontinuously at about 874 g/m3 phenol solution, and the collective polymer diffusion constant decreased sharply between 874 and 916 g/m3, suggesting a “critical slowing down”. The phenol concentration difference EC was successfully used to correlate phenol concentration with the collective polymer diffusion constant. The correlation will be useful as an estimation of hydrogel response reduction associated with hydrophobic pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Simulation of Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Networks
Chemosensors 2013, 1(3), 43-67; doi:10.3390/chemosensors1030043
Received: 11 July 2013 / Revised: 19 September 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The structure and material properties of polymer networks can depend sensitively on changes in the environment. There is a great deal of progress in the development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels for applications like sensors, self-repairing materials or actuators. Biocompatible, smart hydrogels can be used
[...] Read more.
The structure and material properties of polymer networks can depend sensitively on changes in the environment. There is a great deal of progress in the development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels for applications like sensors, self-repairing materials or actuators. Biocompatible, smart hydrogels can be used for applications, such as controlled drug delivery and release, or for artificial muscles. Numerical studies have been performed on different length scales and levels of details. Macroscopic theories that describe the network systems with the help of continuous fields are suited to study effects like the stimuli-induced deformation of hydrogels on large scales. In this article, we discuss various macroscopic approaches and describe, in more detail, our phase field model, which allows the calculation of the hydrogel dynamics with the help of a free energy that considers physical and chemical impacts. On a mesoscopic level, polymer systems can be modeled with the help of the self-consistent field theory, which includes the interactions, connectivity, and the entropy of the polymer chains, and does not depend on constitutive equations. We present our recent extension of the method that allows the study of the formation of nano domains in reversibly crosslinked block copolymer networks. Molecular simulations of polymer networks allow the investigation of the behavior of specific systems on a microscopic scale. As an example for microscopic modeling of stimuli sensitive polymer networks, we present our Monte Carlo simulations of a filament network system with crosslinkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)
Open AccessReview Autonomous Oscillation of Nonthermoresponsive Polymers and Gels Induced by the Belousov–Zhabotinsky Reaction
Chemosensors 2013, 1(2), 3-20; doi:10.3390/chemosensors1020003
Received: 18 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 27 August 2013 / Published: 11 September 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review introduces the self-oscillating behavior of two types of nonthermoresponsive polymer systems with Ru catalyst moieties for the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction: one with a poly-vinylpyrrolidone (PVP) main chain, and the other with a poly(2-propenamide) (polyacrylamide) (PAM) main chain. The amplitude of the
[...] Read more.
This review introduces the self-oscillating behavior of two types of nonthermoresponsive polymer systems with Ru catalyst moieties for the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction: one with a poly-vinylpyrrolidone (PVP) main chain, and the other with a poly(2-propenamide) (polyacrylamide) (PAM) main chain. The amplitude of the VP-based self-oscillating polymer chain and the activation energy for self-oscillation are hardly affected by the initial concentrations of the BZ substrates. The influences of the initial concentrations of the BZ substrates and the temperature on the period of the swelling-deswelling self-oscillation are examined in detail. Logarithmic plots of the period against the initial concentration of one BZ substrate, when the concentrations of the other two BZ substrates are fixed, show good linear relationships. The period of the swelling-deswelling self-oscillation decreases with increasing temperature, in accordance with the Arrhenius equation. The maximum frequency (0.5 Hz) of the poly(VP-co-Ru(bpy)3) gel is 20 times that of the poly(NIPAAm-co-Ru(bpy)3) gel. It is also demonstrated that the amplitude of the volume self-oscillation for the gel has a tradeoff with the self-oscillation period. In addition, this review reports the self-oscillating behavior of an AM-based self-oscillating polymer chain as compared to that of the VP-based polymer chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogel-Based Chemosensors)

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