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Special Issue "Bioinspired Sensor Systems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Manel Del Valle (Website)

Sensors & Biosensors Group, Department of Chemistry, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici Cn, Campus de Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallés), 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: 34-93-5813235
Interests: automation in analytical chemistry; bioinspired analytical systems; FIA systems; SIA systems; chemical sensors; biosensors; genosensors; aptamer sensors; Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy; sensor arrays; electronic tongues

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nature has developed, by many years’ evolution processes, sensing organs and strategies that are being really difficult to equal by sensor technologists in versatility, performance, tolerance to saturation or sensitivity. Curiously, the strategies followed by nature are quite different from those used by researchers in the last decades – in the past, the main goals of researchers was to look for high sensitivity and selectivity devices, features not always possible to obtain. A second consideration is related to the number of analytes that might be of interest, or the number of spots needed to scrutinize. For these needs, common principles shared by the different animal senses, are showing to be of exceptional effectiveness. First, receptors in sensor buds are not of high specificity, but of broad response – and second, animal senses use bunches of slightly different receptors to allow by combinatorial principles to discriminate between thousands of objectives. With these concepts, in any detection event a large number of individual, imperfect responses are generated that next are processed by nervous system, in the simple insect, the hound dog or the human being; and it is the processing of the multivariate information that will deduct the direction to follow in order to mate, the trail of a prey or the presence of a scent. From these principles, it stands out the electronic noses, formed by slightly different sensor arrays to perform analysis in the gas phase, or electronic tongues, using arrays of sensors, that can be of different nature and will be applied with liquid samples. The sensor array principle may be extended to the use of biosensors, in search of improving their intrinsically superior selectivity, where they can offer interesting options for medical diagnostic or security threats. Similarly, the objectives of the system may be to mimic animal senses, to perform olfaction or tasting in hazard conditions, or in non-stop manner: this objective is followed by artificial olfaction or artificial taste researchers. But the same principle of using sets of sensors is being adapted to many other objectives: per example a skin of pressure sensors to detect structural stress in vehicles or buildings. In connection to this, biology offers very interesting operating principles to locate a source from an odor plume, or to track a fish prey from some residues, of uppermost interest in the case of locating victims of catastrophes or explosives. Also related is the sensor networking principles, aimed to detect entrance of a chemical (or an intruder), that can be devised from common principles used by ants or bees: to operate a number of sensing devices deployed along a region, and establish simple communication between them to locate the spot. The special issue of the journal Sensors will cover these different aspects of biologically inspired sensing, which surely will be of interest to grasp these last trends in the field.

Dr. Manel del Valle
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • electronic nose
  • electronic tongue
  • electronic eye
  • sensor skin
  • artificial location
  • artificial olfaction
  • artificial taste
  • artificial sensory panel
  • multiplex biosensing
  • object tracking
  • odor tracking
  • swarm sensor networks

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Bioinspired Sensor Systems
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10180-10186; doi:10.3390/s111110180
Received: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 21 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This editorial summarizes and classifies the contributions presented by different authors to the special issue of the journal Sensors dedicated to Bioinspired Sensor Systems. From the coupling of sensor arrays or networks, plus computer processing abilities, new applications to mimic or to [...] Read more.
This editorial summarizes and classifies the contributions presented by different authors to the special issue of the journal Sensors dedicated to Bioinspired Sensor Systems. From the coupling of sensor arrays or networks, plus computer processing abilities, new applications to mimic or to complement human senses are arising in the context of ambient intelligence. Principles used, and illustrative study cases have been presented permitting readers to grasp the current status of the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle LinkMind: Link Optimization in Swarming Mobile Sensor Networks
Sensors 2011, 11(8), 8180-8202; doi:10.3390/s110808180
Received: 13 June 2011 / Revised: 12 August 2011 / Accepted: 15 August 2011 / Published: 23 August 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2809 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A swarming mobile sensor network is comprised of a swarm of wirelessly connected mobile robots equipped with various sensors. Such a network can be applied in an uncertain environment for services such as cooperative navigation and exploration, object identification and information gathering. [...] Read more.
A swarming mobile sensor network is comprised of a swarm of wirelessly connected mobile robots equipped with various sensors. Such a network can be applied in an uncertain environment for services such as cooperative navigation and exploration, object identification and information gathering. One of the most advantageous properties of the swarming wireless sensor network is that mobile nodes can work cooperatively to organize an ad-hoc network and optimize the network link capacity to maximize the transmission of gathered data from a source to a target. This paper describes a new method of link optimization of swarming mobile sensor networks. The new method is based on combination of the artificial potential force guaranteeing connectivities of the mobile sensor nodes and the max-flow min-cut theorem of graph theory ensuring optimization of the network link capacity. The developed algorithm is demonstrated and evaluated in simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle FPGA-Based Multimodal Embedded Sensor System Integrating Low- and Mid-Level Vision
Sensors 2011, 11(8), 8164-8179; doi:10.3390/s110808164
Received: 16 February 2011 / Revised: 6 July 2011 / Accepted: 15 August 2011 / Published: 22 August 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Motion estimation is a low-level vision task that is especially relevant due to its wide range of applications in the real world. Many of the best motion estimation algorithms include some of the features that are found in mammalians, which would demand [...] Read more.
Motion estimation is a low-level vision task that is especially relevant due to its wide range of applications in the real world. Many of the best motion estimation algorithms include some of the features that are found in mammalians, which would demand huge computational resources and therefore are not usually available in real-time. In this paper we present a novel bioinspired sensor based on the synergy between optical flow and orthogonal variant moments. The bioinspired sensor has been designed for Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) using properties of the mammalian cortical motion pathway. This sensor combines low-level primitives (optical flow and image moments) in order to produce a mid-level vision abstraction layer. The results are described trough experiments showing the validity of the proposed system and an analysis of the computational resources and performance of the applied algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle A Biomimetic Sensor for the Classification of Honeys of Different Floral Origin and the Detection of Adulteration
Sensors 2011, 11(8), 7799-7822; doi:10.3390/s110807799
Received: 10 June 2011 / Revised: 7 August 2011 / Accepted: 7 August 2011 / Published: 9 August 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The major compounds in honey are carbohydrates such as monosaccharides and disaccharides. The same compounds are found in cane-sugar concentrates. Unfortunately when sugar concentrate is added to honey, laboratory assessments are found to be ineffective in detecting this adulteration. Unlike tracing heavy [...] Read more.
The major compounds in honey are carbohydrates such as monosaccharides and disaccharides. The same compounds are found in cane-sugar concentrates. Unfortunately when sugar concentrate is added to honey, laboratory assessments are found to be ineffective in detecting this adulteration. Unlike tracing heavy metals in honey, sugar adulterated honey is much trickier and harder to detect, and traditionally it has been very challenging to come up with a suitable method to prove the presence of adulterants in honey products. This paper proposes a combination of array sensing and multi-modality sensor fusion that can effectively discriminate the samples not only based on the compounds present in the sample but also mimic the way humans perceive flavours and aromas. Conversely, analytical instruments are based on chemical separations which may alter the properties of the volatiles or flavours of a particular honey. The present work is focused on classifying 18 samples of different honeys, sugar syrups and adulterated samples using data fusion of electronic nose (e-nose) and electronic tongue (e-tongue) measurements. Each group of samples was evaluated separately by the e-nose and e-tongue. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) were able to separately discriminate monofloral honey from sugar syrup, and polyfloral honey from sugar and adulterated samples using the e-nose and e-tongue. The e-nose was observed to give better separation compared to e-tongue assessment, particularly when LDA was applied. However, when all samples were combined in one classification analysis, neither PCA nor LDA were able to discriminate between honeys of different floral origins, sugar syrup and adulterated samples. By applying a sensor fusion technique, the classification for the 18 different samples was improved. Significant improvement was observed using PCA, while LDA not only improved the discrimination but also gave better classification. An improvement in performance was also observed using a Probabilistic Neural Network classifier when the e-nose and e-tongue data were fused. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle An Asynchronous Multi-Sensor Micro Control Unit for Wireless Body Sensor Networks (WBSNs)
Sensors 2011, 11(7), 7022-7036; doi:10.3390/s110707022
Received: 12 May 2011 / Revised: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 6 July 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, an asynchronous multi-sensor micro control unit (MCU) core is proposed for wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs). It consists of asynchronous interfaces, a power management unit, a multi-sensor controller, a data encoder (DE), and an error correct coder (ECC). To [...] Read more.
In this work, an asynchronous multi-sensor micro control unit (MCU) core is proposed for wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs). It consists of asynchronous interfaces, a power management unit, a multi-sensor controller, a data encoder (DE), and an error correct coder (ECC). To improve the system performance and expansion abilities, the asynchronous interface is created for handshaking different clock domains between ADC and RF with MCU. To increase the use time of the WBSN system, a power management technique is developed for reducing power consumption. In addition, the multi-sensor controller is designed for detecting various biomedical signals. To prevent loss error from wireless transmission, use of an error correct coding technique is important in biomedical applications. The data encoder is added for lossless compression of various biomedical signals with a compression ratio of almost three. This design is successfully tested on a FPGA board. The VLSI architecture of this work contains 2.68-K gate counts and consumes power 496-μW at 133-MHz processing rate by using TSMC 0.13-μm CMOS process. Compared with the previous techniques, this work offers higher performance, more functions, and lower hardware cost than other micro controller designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle An Electronic Nose for Reliable Measurement and Correct Classification of Beverages
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 6435-6453; doi:10.3390/s110606435
Received: 29 April 2011 / Revised: 29 May 2011 / Accepted: 16 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports the design of an electronic nose (E-nose) prototype for reliable measurement and correct classification of beverages. The prototype was developed and fabricated in the laboratory using commercially available metal oxide gas sensors and a temperature sensor. The repeatability, reproducibility [...] Read more.
This paper reports the design of an electronic nose (E-nose) prototype for reliable measurement and correct classification of beverages. The prototype was developed and fabricated in the laboratory using commercially available metal oxide gas sensors and a temperature sensor. The repeatability, reproducibility and discriminative ability of the developed E-nose prototype were tested on odors emanating from different beverages such as blackcurrant juice, mango juice and orange juice, respectively. Repeated measurements of three beverages showed very high correlation (r > 0.97) between the same beverages to verify the repeatability. The prototype also produced highly correlated patterns (r > 0.97) in the measurement of beverages using different sensor batches to verify its reproducibility. The E-nose prototype also possessed good discriminative ability whereby it was able to produce different patterns for different beverages, different milk heat treatments (ultra high temperature, pasteurization) and fresh and spoiled milks. The discriminative ability of the E-nose was evaluated using Principal Component Analysis and a Multi Layer Perception Neural Network, with both methods showing good classification results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle Cytochrome C Biosensor—A Model for Gas Sensing
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5968-5980; doi:10.3390/s110605968
Received: 14 April 2011 / Accepted: 23 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work is about gas biosensing with a cytochrome c biosensor. Emphasis is put on the analysis of the sensing process and a mathematical model to make predictions about the biosensor response. Reliable predictions about biosensor responses can provide valuable information and [...] Read more.
This work is about gas biosensing with a cytochrome c biosensor. Emphasis is put on the analysis of the sensing process and a mathematical model to make predictions about the biosensor response. Reliable predictions about biosensor responses can provide valuable information and facilitate biosensor development, particularly at an early development stage. The sensing process comprises several individual steps, such as phase partition equilibrium, intermediate reactions, mass-transport, and reaction kinetics, which take place in and between the gas and liquid phases. A quantitative description of each step was worked out and finally combined into a mathematical model. The applicability of the model was demonstrated for a particular example of methanethiol gas detection by a cytochrome c biosensor. The model allowed us to predict the optical readout response of the biosensor from tabulated data and data obtained in simple liquid phase experiments. The prediction was experimentally verified with a planar three-electrode electro-optical cytochrome c biosensor in contact with methanethiol gas in a gas tight spectroelectrochemical measurement cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Roughness Encoding in Human and Biomimetic Artificial Touch: Spatiotemporal Frequency Modulation and Structural Anisotropy of Fingerprints
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5596-5615; doi:10.3390/s110605596
Received: 24 March 2011 / Revised: 28 April 2011 / Accepted: 16 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (3755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of fingerprints and their curvature in tactile sensing performance is investigated by comparative analysis of different design parameters in a biomimetic artificial fingertip, having straight or curved fingerprints. The strength in the encoding of the principal spatial period of ridged [...] Read more.
The influence of fingerprints and their curvature in tactile sensing performance is investigated by comparative analysis of different design parameters in a biomimetic artificial fingertip, having straight or curved fingerprints. The strength in the encoding of the principal spatial period of ridged tactile stimuli (gratings) is evaluated by indenting and sliding the surfaces at controlled normal contact force and tangential sliding velocity, as a function of fingertip rotation along the indentation axis. Curved fingerprints guaranteed higher directional isotropy than straight fingerprints in the encoding of the principal frequency resulting from the ratio between the sliding velocity and the spatial periodicity of the grating. In parallel, human microneurography experiments were performed and a selection of results is included in this work in order to support the significance of the biorobotic study with the artificial tactile system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Use of the Electronic Nose as a Screening Tool for the Recognition of Durum Wheat Naturally Contaminated by Deoxynivalenol: A Preliminary Approach
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4899-4916; doi:10.3390/s110504899
Received: 6 April 2011 / Revised: 25 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 4 May 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fungal contamination and the presence of related toxins is a widespread problem. Mycotoxin contamination has prompted many countries to establish appropriate tolerance levels. For instance, with the Commission Regulation (EC) N. 1881/2006, the European Commission fixed the limits for the main mycotoxins [...] Read more.
Fungal contamination and the presence of related toxins is a widespread problem. Mycotoxin contamination has prompted many countries to establish appropriate tolerance levels. For instance, with the Commission Regulation (EC) N. 1881/2006, the European Commission fixed the limits for the main mycotoxins (and other contaminants) in food. Although valid analytical methods are being developed for regulatory purposes, a need exists for alternative screening methods that can detect mould and mycotoxin contamination of cereal grains with high sample throughput. In this study, a commercial electronic nose (EN) equipped with metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) sensors was used in combination with a trap and the thermal desorption technique, with the adoption of Tenax TA as an adsorbent material to discriminate between durum wheat whole-grain samples naturally contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON) and non-contaminated samples. Each wheat sample was analysed with the EN at four different desorption temperatures (i.e., 180 °C, 200 °C, 220 °C, and 240 °C) and without a desorption pre-treatment. A 20-sample and a 122-sample dataset were processed by means of principal component analysis (PCA) and classified via classification and regression trees (CART). Results, validated with two different methods, showed that it was possible to classify wheat samples into three clusters based on the DON content proposed by the European legislation: (a) non-contaminated; (b) contaminated below the limit (DON  1,750 μg/kg), with a classification error rate in prediction of 0% (for the 20-sample dataset) and 3.28% (for the 122-sample dataset). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle Application of an E-Tongue to the Analysis of Monovarietal and Blends of White Wines
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4840-4857; doi:10.3390/s110504840
Received: 14 March 2011 / Accepted: 29 April 2011 / Published: 3 May 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work presents a multiparametric system capable of characterizing and classifying white wines according to the grape variety and geographical origin. Besides, it quantifies specific parameters of interest for quality control in wine. The system, known as a hybrid electronic tongue, consists [...] Read more.
This work presents a multiparametric system capable of characterizing and classifying white wines according to the grape variety and geographical origin. Besides, it quantifies specific parameters of interest for quality control in wine. The system, known as a hybrid electronic tongue, consists of an array of electrochemical microsensors—six ISFET based sensors, a conductivity sensor, a redox potential sensor and two amperometric electrodes, a gold microelectrode and a microelectrode for sensing electrochemical oxygen demand—and a miniaturized optofluidic system. The test sample set comprised eighteen Catalan monovarietal white wines from four different grape varieties, two Croatian monovarietal white wines and seven bi- and trivarietal mixtures prepared from the Catalan varieties. Different chemometric tools were used to characterize (i.e., Principal Component Analysis), classify (i.e., Soft Independent Modeling Class Analogy) and quantify (i.e., Partial-Least Squares) some parameters of interest. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the multisensor system for analysis of wine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Surface Plasmon Resonance Based Biosensors for Exploring the Influence of Alkaloids on Aggregation of Amyloid-β Peptide
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4030-4042; doi:10.3390/s110404030
Received: 16 February 2011 / Revised: 16 March 2011 / Accepted: 28 March 2011 / Published: 6 April 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of the presented study was the development of a simple analytical tool for exploring the influence of naturally occurring compounds on the aggregation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ40) in order to find potential anti-neurodegenerative drugs. The gold discs [...] Read more.
The main objective of the presented study was the development of a simple analytical tool for exploring the influence of naturally occurring compounds on the aggregation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ40) in order to find potential anti-neurodegenerative drugs. The gold discs used for surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements were modified with thioaliphatic acid. The surface functionalized with carboxylic groups was used for covalent attaching of Aβ40 probe by creation of amide bonds in the presence of EDC/NHS. The modified SPR gold discs were used for exploring the Aβ40 aggregation process in the presence of selected alkaloids: arecoline hydrobromide, pseudopelletierine hydrochloride, trigonelline hydrochloride and α-lobeline hydrochloride. The obtained results were discussed with other parameters which govern the phenomenon studied such as lipophilicity/ hydrophilicy and Aβ40-alkaloid association constants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle An Approach to an Inhibition Electronic Tongue to Detect On-Line Organophosphorus Insecticides Using a Computer Controlled Multi-Commuted Flow System
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 3791-3802; doi:10.3390/s110403791
Received: 12 February 2011 / Revised: 22 March 2011 / Accepted: 24 March 2011 / Published: 28 March 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An approach to an inhibition bioelectronic tongue is presented. The work is focused on development of an automated flow system to carry out experimental assays, a custom potentiostat to measure the response from an enzymatic biosensor, and an inhibition protocol which allows [...] Read more.
An approach to an inhibition bioelectronic tongue is presented. The work is focused on development of an automated flow system to carry out experimental assays, a custom potentiostat to measure the response from an enzymatic biosensor, and an inhibition protocol which allows on-line detections. A Multi-commuted Flow Analysis system (MCFA) was selected and developed to carry out assays with an improved inhibition method to detect the insecticides chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO), chlorfenvinfos (CFV) and azinphos methyl-oxon (AZMO). The system manifold comprised a peristaltic pump, a set of seven electronic valves controlled by a personal computer electronic interface and software based on LabView® to control the sample dilutions into the cell. The inhibition method consists in the injection of the insecticide when the enzyme activity has reached the plateau of the current; with this method the incubation time is avoided. A potentiostat was developed to measure the response from the enzymatic biosensor. Low limits of detection of 10 nM for CPO, CFV, and AZMO were achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Three Realizations and Comparison of Hardware for Piezoresistive Tactile Sensors
Sensors 2011, 11(3), 3249-3266; doi:10.3390/s110303249
Received: 17 January 2011 / Revised: 10 March 2011 / Accepted: 14 March 2011 / Published: 17 March 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tactile sensors are basically arrays of force sensors that are intended to emulate the skin in applications such as assistive robotics. Local electronics are usually implemented to reduce errors and interference caused by long wires. Realizations based on standard microcontrollers, Programmable Systems [...] Read more.
Tactile sensors are basically arrays of force sensors that are intended to emulate the skin in applications such as assistive robotics. Local electronics are usually implemented to reduce errors and interference caused by long wires. Realizations based on standard microcontrollers, Programmable Systems on Chip (PSoCs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have been proposed by the authors for the case of piezoresistive tactile sensors. The solution employing FPGAs is especially relevant since their performance is closer to that of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) than that of the other devices. This paper presents an implementation of such an idea for a specific sensor. For the purpose of comparison, the circuitry based on the other devices is also made for the same sensor. This paper discusses the implementation issues, provides details regarding the design of the hardware based on the three devices and compares them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Potentiometric Electronic Tongue to Resolve Mixtures of Sulfide and Perchlorate Anions
Sensors 2011, 11(3), 3214-3226; doi:10.3390/s110303214
Received: 11 January 2011 / Revised: 24 February 2011 / Accepted: 10 March 2011 / Published: 16 March 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work describes the use of an array of potentiometric sensors and an artificial neural network response model to determine perchlorate and sulfide ions in polluted waters, by what is known as an electronic tongue. Sensors used have been all-solid-state PVC membrane [...] Read more.
This work describes the use of an array of potentiometric sensors and an artificial neural network response model to determine perchlorate and sulfide ions in polluted waters, by what is known as an electronic tongue. Sensors used have been all-solid-state PVC membrane selective electrodes, where their ionophores were different metal-phtalocyanine complexes with specific and anion generic responses. The study case illustrates the potential use of electronic tongues in the quantification of mixtures when interfering effects need to be counterbalanced: relative errors in determination of individual ions can be decreased typically from 25% to less than 5%, if compared to the use of a single proposed ion-selective electrode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Paste Electrodes Made from Different Carbonaceous Materials: Application in the Study of Antioxidants
Sensors 2011, 11(2), 1328-1344; doi:10.3390/s110201328
Received: 23 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 January 2011 / Published: 25 January 2011
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (1003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work describes the sensing properties of carbon paste electrodes (CPEs) prepared from three different types of carbonaceous materials: graphite, carbon microspheres and carbon nanotubes. The electrochemical responses towards antioxidants including vanillic acid, catechol, gallic acid, L-ascorbic acid and L-glutathione have been [...] Read more.
This work describes the sensing properties of carbon paste electrodes (CPEs) prepared from three different types of carbonaceous materials: graphite, carbon microspheres and carbon nanotubes. The electrochemical responses towards antioxidants including vanillic acid, catechol, gallic acid, L-ascorbic acid and L-glutathione have been analyzed and compared. It has been demonstrated that the electrodes based on carbon microspheres show the best performances in terms of kinetics and stability, whereas G-CPEs presented the smallest detection limit for all the antioxidants analyzed. An array of electrodes has been constructed using the three types of electrodes. As demonstrated by means of Principal Component Analysis, the system is able to discriminate among antioxidants as a function of their chemical structure and reactivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Bioinspired Electronic White Cane Implementation Based on a LIDAR, a Tri-Axial Accelerometer and a Tactile Belt
Sensors 2010, 10(12), 11322-11339; doi:10.3390/s101211322
Received: 23 October 2010 / Revised: 25 November 2010 / Accepted: 3 December 2010 / Published: 10 December 2010
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work proposes the creation of a bioinspired electronic white cane for blind people using the whiskers principle for short-range navigation and exploration. Whiskers are coarse hairs of an animal's face that tells the animal that it has touched something using the [...] Read more.
This work proposes the creation of a bioinspired electronic white cane for blind people using the whiskers principle for short-range navigation and exploration. Whiskers are coarse hairs of an animal's face that tells the animal that it has touched something using the nerves of the skin. In this work the raw data acquired from a low-size terrestrial LIDAR and a tri-axial accelerometer is converted into tactile information using several electromagnetic devices configured as a tactile belt. The LIDAR and the accelerometer are attached to the user’s forearm and connected with a wire to the control unit placed on the belt. Early validation experiments carried out in the laboratory are promising in terms of usability and description of the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessArticle Effective Fingerprint Quality Estimation for Diverse Capture Sensors
Sensors 2010, 10(9), 7896-7912; doi:10.3390/s100907896
Received: 8 June 2010 / Revised: 2 July 2010 / Accepted: 11 August 2010 / Published: 26 August 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (874 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recognizing the quality of fingerprints in advance can be beneficial for improving the performance of fingerprint recognition systems. The representative features to assess the quality of fingerprint images from different types of capture sensors are known to vary. In this paper, an [...] Read more.
Recognizing the quality of fingerprints in advance can be beneficial for improving the performance of fingerprint recognition systems. The representative features to assess the quality of fingerprint images from different types of capture sensors are known to vary. In this paper, an effective quality estimation system that can be adapted for different types of capture sensors is designed by modifying and combining a set of features including orientation certainty, local orientation quality and consistency. The proposed system extracts basic features, and generates next level features which are applicable for various types of capture sensors. The system then uses the Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier to determine whether or not an image should be accepted as input to the recognition system. The experimental results show that the proposed method can perform better than previous methods in terms of accuracy. In the meanwhile, the proposed method has an ability to eliminate residue images from the optical and capacitive sensors, and the coarse images from thermal sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Wearable and Implantable Wireless Sensor Network Solutions for Healthcare Monitoring
Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5561-5595; doi:10.3390/s110605561
Received: 3 April 2011 / Revised: 14 May 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 84 | PDF Full-text (644 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies are considered one of the key research areas in computer science and the healthcare application industries for improving the quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of current developments and future [...] Read more.
Wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies are considered one of the key research areas in computer science and the healthcare application industries for improving the quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of current developments and future direction of research on wearable and implantable body area network systems for continuous monitoring of patients. This paper explains the important role of body sensor networks in medicine to minimize the need for caregivers and help the chronically ill and elderly people live an independent life, besides providing people with quality care. The paper provides several examples of state of the art technology together with the design considerations like unobtrusiveness, scalability, energy efficiency, security and also provides a comprehensive analysis of the various benefits and drawbacks of these systems. Although offering significant benefits, the field of wearable and implantable body sensor networks still faces major challenges and open research problems which are investigated and covered, along with some proposed solutions, in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
Open AccessReview Electronic Noses and Tongues: Applications for the Food and Pharmaceutical Industries
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4744-4766; doi:10.3390/s110504744
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 14 April 2011 / Accepted: 16 April 2011 / Published: 2 May 2011
Cited by 107 | PDF Full-text (366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The electronic nose (e-nose) is designed to crudely mimic the mammalian nose in that most contain sensors that non-selectively interact with odor molecules to produce some sort of signal that is then sent to a computer that uses multivariate statistics to determine [...] Read more.
The electronic nose (e-nose) is designed to crudely mimic the mammalian nose in that most contain sensors that non-selectively interact with odor molecules to produce some sort of signal that is then sent to a computer that uses multivariate statistics to determine patterns in the data. This pattern recognition is used to determine that one sample is similar or different from another based on headspace volatiles. There are different types of e-nose sensors including organic polymers, metal oxides, quartz crystal microbalance and even gas-chromatography (GC) or combined with mass spectroscopy (MS) can be used in a non-selective manner using chemical mass or patterns from a short GC column as an e-nose or “Z” nose. The electronic tongue reacts similarly to non-volatile compounds in a liquid. This review will concentrate on applications of e-nose and e-tongue technology for edible products and pharmaceutical uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessReview Potentiometric Electronic Tongues for Foodstuff and Biosample Recognition—An Overview
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4688-4701; doi:10.3390/s110504688
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 23 March 2011 / Accepted: 25 March 2011 / Published: 28 April 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Potentiometric sensors are attractive tools for the fabrication of various electronic tongues that can be used in wide area of applications, ranging from foodstuff recognition to environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics. Their main advantages are the ability to modify their selectivity (including [...] Read more.
Potentiometric sensors are attractive tools for the fabrication of various electronic tongues that can be used in wide area of applications, ranging from foodstuff recognition to environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics. Their main advantages are the ability to modify their selectivity (including cross-sensitivity effects) and the possibility of miniaturization using appropriate construction methods for the transducer part (e.g., with the use of solid-state technology). In this overview various examples of the design, performance, and applications of potentiometric electronic tongues are presented. The results summarize recent research in the field conducted in the Department of Microbioanalytics, Warsaw University of Technology (WUT). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessReview Biological Sensors for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4277-4294; doi:10.3390/s110404277
Received: 12 February 2011 / Revised: 2 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 April 2011 / Published: 12 April 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is widely known as a genotoxic environmental agent that affects Earth ecosystems and the human population. As a primary consequence of the stratospheric ozone layer depletion observed over the last decades, the increasing UV incidence levels have heightened [...] Read more.
Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is widely known as a genotoxic environmental agent that affects Earth ecosystems and the human population. As a primary consequence of the stratospheric ozone layer depletion observed over the last decades, the increasing UV incidence levels have heightened the concern regarding deleterious consequences affecting both the biosphere and humans, thereby leading to an increase in scientific efforts to understand the role of sunlight in the induction of DNA damage, mutagenesis, and cell death. In fact, the various UV-wavelengths evoke characteristic biological impacts that greatly depend on light absorption of biomolecules, especially DNA, in living organisms, thereby justifying the increasing importance of developing biological sensors for monitoring the harmful impact of solar UV radiation under various environmental conditions. In this review, several types of biosensors proposed for laboratory and field application, that measure the biological effects of the UV component of sunlight, are described. Basically, the applicability of sensors based on DNA, bacteria or even mammalian cells are presented and compared. Data are also presented showing that on using DNA-based sensors, the various types of damage produced differ when this molecule is exposed in either an aqueous buffer or a dry solution. Apart from the data thus generated, the development of novel biosensors could help in evaluating the biological effects of sunlight on the environment. They also emerge as alternative tools for using live animals in the search for protective sunscreen products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessReview Bioinspired Principles for Large-Scale Networked Sensor Systems: An Overview
Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4137-4151; doi:10.3390/s110404137
Received: 17 January 2011 / Revised: 21 March 2011 / Accepted: 23 March 2011 / Published: 7 April 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (783 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biology has often been used as a source of inspiration in computer science and engineering. Bioinspired principles have found their way into network node design and research due to the appealing analogies between biological systems and large networks of small sensors. This [...] Read more.
Biology has often been used as a source of inspiration in computer science and engineering. Bioinspired principles have found their way into network node design and research due to the appealing analogies between biological systems and large networks of small sensors. This paper provides an overview of bioinspired principles and methods such as swarm intelligence, natural time synchronization, artificial immune system and intercellular information exchange applicable for sensor network design. Bioinspired principles and methods are discussed in the context of routing, clustering, time synchronization, optimal node deployment, localization and security and privacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Sensor Systems)

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