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Special Issue "Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Michael G. Weller

Head of Division 1.5, BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Richard-Willstaetter-Strasse 11, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49-30-8104-1150
Fax: 49 30 8104-1157
Interests: multiplexed biosensors; biochemical detection of explosives; quantitative protein analysis; affinity enrichment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Explosives, chemical weapons, and biological agents are a permanent menace in many countries around the world. Although various traditional methods exist to detect those hazards, they often are slow, expensive, unwieldy, lab-based, and usually lack sufficient sensitivity and selectivity, thus rendering them impracticable. The development of innovative detection methods for such agents is therefore one of the major challenges in modern analytical sciences.

In this Special Issue, we would like to focus on approaches which are based on the selective interaction of biochemical or chemical binders, such as antibodies, enzymes, aptamers, DNA and RNA in general, PNA, peptides, molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs), and the like.

Technologies, such as surface-plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors, surface-acoustic wave (SAW) sensors, quartz crystal microbalances (QMB), microcantilevers, other microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), fluorescence and chemiluminescence-based sensors, test strips, lateral flow assays, microarray biosensors and other multiplexed approaches, µ-total analysis systems (µ-TAS), lab-on-a-chip systems, and nanosensors are transducer platforms of interest for this issue. Technologies that deal with biological hazards, such as amplification-based assays utilizing polymerase chain reaction (PCR), rolling-circle amplification or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) embedded in a sensor system, are also of substantial interest.

Dr. Michael G. Weller
Guest Editor

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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a 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 monthly 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).

Keywords

  • explosives
  • chemical warfare
  • biological weapons
  • biological warfare
  • homeland security
  • terrorism
  • improvised explosive device
  • land mines
  • public safety
  • airport security
  • security of mass transportation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Colorimetric-Based Detection of TNT Explosives Using Functionalized Silica Nanoparticles
Sensors 2015, 15(6), 12891-12905; doi:10.3390/s150612891
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This proof-of-concept study proposes a novel sensing mechanism for selective and label-free detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). It is realized by surface chemistry functionalization of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES). The primary amine anchored to the surface of the silica nanoparticles (SiO2
[...] Read more.
This proof-of-concept study proposes a novel sensing mechanism for selective and label-free detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). It is realized by surface chemistry functionalization of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES). The primary amine anchored to the surface of the silica nanoparticles (SiO2-NH2) acts as a capturing probe for TNT target binding to form Meisenheimer amine–TNT complexes. A colorimetric change of the self-assembled (SAM) NP samples from the initial green of a SiO2-NH2 nanoparticle film towards red was observed after successful attachment of TNT, which was confirmed as a result of the increased separation between the nanoparticles. The shift in the peak wavelength of the reflected light normal to the film surface and the associated change of the peak width were measured, and a merit function taking into account their combined effect was proposed for the detection of TNT concentrations from 10−12 to 10−4 molar. The selectivity of our sensing approach is confirmed by using TNT-bound nanoparticles incubated in AptamerX, with 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) and toluene used as control and baseline, respectively. Our results show the repeatable systematic color change with the TNT concentration and the possibility to develop a robust, easy-to-use, and low-cost TNT detection method for performing a sensitive, reliable, and semi-quantitative detection in a wide detection range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Based Sensor for the Electrochemical Determination of Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP)
Sensors 2014, 14(12), 23269-23282; doi:10.3390/s141223269
Received: 15 August 2014 / Revised: 3 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which can be prepared from commercially readily available reagents following an easy synthetic procedure, is one of the most common components of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Molecularly-imprinted polymer (MIP) electrochemical sensors have proved useful for the determination of
[...] Read more.
The explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which can be prepared from commercially readily available reagents following an easy synthetic procedure, is one of the most common components of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Molecularly-imprinted polymer (MIP) electrochemical sensors have proved useful for the determination of different compounds in different matrices with the required sensitivity and selectivity. In this work, a highly sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted polymer with electrochemical capabilities for the determination of TATP has been developed. The molecular imprinting has been performed via electropolymerisation onto a glassy carbon electrode surface by cyclic voltammetry from a solution of pyrrole functional monomer, TATP template and LiClO4. Differential Pulse Voltammetry of TATP, with LiClO4 as supporting electrolyte, was performed in a potential range of −2.0 V to +1.0 V (vs. Ag/AgCl). Three-factor two-level factorial design was used to optimise the monomer concentration at 0.1 mol∙L−1, template concentration at 100 mmol∙L−1 and the number of cyclic voltammetry scan cycles to 10. The molecularly imprinted polymer-modified glassy carbon electrode demonstrated good performance at low concentrations for a linear range of 82–44,300 µg∙L−1 and a correlation coefficient of r2 = 0.996. The limits of detection (LoD) and quantification (LoQ) achieved were 26.9 μg∙L−1 and 81.6 μg∙L−1, respectively. The sensor demonstrated very good repeatability with precision values (n = 6, expressed as %RSD) of 1.098% and 0.55% for 1108 and 2216 µg∙L−1, respectively. It also proved selective for TATP in the presence of other explosive substances such as PETN, RDX, HMX, and TNT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Open AccessArticle Love-Wave Sensors Combined with Microfluidics for Fast Detection of Biological Warfare Agents
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12658-12669; doi:10.3390/s140712658
Received: 1 May 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through
[...] Read more.
The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through of the sample is created, promoting the reaction between antigen and antibody and allowing a fast detection of the BWAs. In order to prove this method, static and dynamic modes have been simulated and different concentrations of BWA simulants have been tested with two immunoreactions: phage M13 has been detected using the mouse monoclonal antibody anti-M13 (AM13), and the rabbit immunoglobulin (Rabbit IgG) has been detected using the polyclonal antibody goat anti-rabbit (GAR). Finally, different concentrations of each BWA simulants have been detected with a fast response time and a desirable level of discrimination among them has been achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Sensitivity Comparison of Vapor Trace Detection of Explosives Based on Chemo-Mechanical Sensing with Optical Detection and Capacitive Sensing with Electronic Detection
Sensors 2014, 14(7), 11467-11491; doi:10.3390/s140711467
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 27 June 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The article offers a comparison of the sensitivities for vapour trace detection of Trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosives of two different sensor systems: a chemo-mechanical sensor based on chemically modified Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilevers based on Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology with optical
[...] Read more.
The article offers a comparison of the sensitivities for vapour trace detection of Trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosives of two different sensor systems: a chemo-mechanical sensor based on chemically modified Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilevers based on Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology with optical detection (CMO), and a miniature system based on capacitive detection of chemically functionalized planar capacitors with interdigitated electrodes with a comb-like structure with electronic detection (CE). In both cases (either CMO or CE), the sensor surfaces are chemically functionalized with a layer of APhS (trimethoxyphenylsilane) molecules, which give the strongest sensor response for TNT. The construction and calibration of a vapour generator is also presented. The measurements of the sensor response to TNT are performed under equal conditions for both systems, and the results show that CE system with ultrasensitive electronics is far superior to optical detection using MEMS. Using CMO system, we can detect 300 molecules of TNT in 10+12 molecules of N2 carrier gas, whereas the CE system can detect three molecules of TNT in 10+12 molecules of carrier N2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Isolation and Epitope Mapping of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Single-Domain Antibodies
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10846-10863; doi:10.3390/s140610846
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1025 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Single-domain antibodies (sdAbs), derived from the heavy chain only antibodies found in camelids such as llamas have the potential to provide rugged detection reagents with high affinities, and the ability to refold after denaturation. We have isolated and characterized sdAbs specific to staphylococcal
[...] Read more.
Single-domain antibodies (sdAbs), derived from the heavy chain only antibodies found in camelids such as llamas have the potential to provide rugged detection reagents with high affinities, and the ability to refold after denaturation. We have isolated and characterized sdAbs specific to staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) which bind to two distinct epitopes and are able to function in a sandwich immunoassay for toxin detection. Characterization of these sdAbs revealed that each exhibited nanomolar binding affinities or better.  Melting temperatures for the sdAbs ranged from approximately 60 °C to over 70 °C, with each demonstrating at least partial refolding after denaturation and several were able to completely refold. A first set of sdAbs was isolated by panning the library using adsorbed antigen, all of which recognized the same epitope on SEB. Epitope mapping suggested that these sdAbs bind to a particular fragment of SEB (VKSIDQFLYFDLIYSI) containing position L45 (underlined), which is involved in binding to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Differences in the binding affinities of the sdAbs to SEB and a less-toxic vaccine immunogen, SEBv (L45R/Y89A/Y94A) were also consistent with binding to this epitope. A sandwich panning strategy was utilized to isolate sdAbs which bind a second epitope. This epitope differed from the initial one obtained or from that recognized by previously isolated anti-SEB sdAb A3. Using SEB-toxin spiked milk we demonstrated that these newly isolated sdAbs could be utilized in sandwich-assays with each other, A3, and with various monoclonal antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Detection of Explosives in a Dynamic Marine Environment Using a Moored TNT Immunosensor
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4074-4085; doi:10.3390/s140304074
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A field demonstration and longevity assessment for long-term monitoring of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in a marine environment using an anti-TNT microfluidic immunosensor is described. The TNT immunosensor is comprised of a microfluidic device with 39 parallel microchannels (2.5 cm × 250 µm
[...] Read more.
A field demonstration and longevity assessment for long-term monitoring of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in a marine environment using an anti-TNT microfluidic immunosensor is described. The TNT immunosensor is comprised of a microfluidic device with 39 parallel microchannels (2.5 cm × 250 µm × 500 µm, L × W × D) fabricated in poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), then chemically functionalized with antibodies possessing a high affinity for TNT. Synthesized fluorescence reporter complexes used in a displacement-based assay format were used for TNT identification. For field deployment the TNT immunosensor was configured onto a submersible moored steel frame along with frame controller, pumps and TNT plume generator and deployed pier side for intermittent plume sampling of TNT (1h increments). Under varying current and tidal conditions trace levels of TNT in natural seawater were detected over an extended period (>18 h). Overnight operation and data recording was monitored via a web interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Towards an Electronic Dog Nose: Surface Plasmon Resonance Immunosensor for Security and Safety
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 16586-16616; doi:10.3390/s140916586
Received: 15 May 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review describes an “electronic dog nose” based on a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor and an antigen–antibody interaction for security and safety. We have concentrated on developing appropriate sensor surfaces for the SPR sensor for practical use. The review covers different surface
[...] Read more.
This review describes an “electronic dog nose” based on a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor and an antigen–antibody interaction for security and safety. We have concentrated on developing appropriate sensor surfaces for the SPR sensor for practical use. The review covers different surface fabrications, which all include variations of a self-assembled monolayer containing oligo(ethylene glycol), dendrimer, and hydrophilic polymer. We have carried out detection of explosives using the sensor surfaces. For the SPR sensor to detect explosives, the vapor or particles of the target substances have to be dissolved in a liquid. Therefore, we also review the development of sampling processes for explosives, and a protocol for the measurement of explosives on the SPR sensor in the field. Additionally, sensing elements, which have the potential to be applied for the electronic dog nose, are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemo- and Biosensors for Security and Defense)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Detection of Explosives in a Dynamic Marine Environment Using a Moored TNT Immunosensor
Authors: Paul T. Charles 1,*, André A. Adams 1 , Jeffrey R. Deschamps 1, Scott Veitch 2, Al Hanson 2 and Anne W. Kusterbeck 1
Affiliation: 1 Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, 20375, USA; E-Mails: paul.charles@nrl.navy.mil; andre.a.adams@nrl.navy.mil; Jeffrey.deschamps@nrl.navy.mil; anne.kusterbeck@nrl.navy.mil
2 SubChem Systems, Inc., 65 Pier Road, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA; E-Mails: hanson@subchem.com; scott.veitch@subchem.com
Abstract: A field demonstration and longevity assessment for long-term monitoring of the explosive, 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in a marine environment using an anti-TNT microfluidic immunosensor is described. The TNT immunosensor is comprised of a microfluidic device fabricated with 39 parallel microchannels (2.5 cm × 250 µm × 500 µm, L×W×D) in poly (methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) then chemically functionalized with antibodies possessing a high affinity for TNT. Synthesized fluorescence reporter complexes used in a displacement-based assay format were used for TNT identification. For field deployment the TNT immunosensor was configured onto a submersible moored steel frame along with frame controller, pumps and TNT plume generator and deployed pier side for intermittent plume sampling of TNT (1h increments). Under varying current and tidal conditions trace levels of TNT in natural seawater were detected over an extended period (>18h). Overnight operation and data recording was monitored via web interface.
Keywords: 2, 4, 6- Trinitrotoluene (TNT); explosives; immunosensor; seawater; fluorescence; remote

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