Sensors for metal ions, toxins, and other chemicals in the environment

Sensors for metal ions, toxins, and other chemicals in the environment (Dr. Steve Skrabal)
Over the past two decades, there has been increased interest and activity in the development and
application of sensors to detect low concentrations of heavy metals, warfare agents, pollutants,
and biochemicals in air, water, soil, and food. Mechanisms underlying the development and
operation of many of these sensors intersect multiple disciplines including electrochemistry,
organometallic chemistry, biochemistry and genetic engineering. For example, Nivens et al.
(2004) review the use of bioluminesecent bioreporter chips. A plasmon resonance sensor for the
determination of the marine toxin domoic acid is described by Lotierzo et al. (2004). Heavy
metal detection by a phytochelatin-modified electrode is presented in a paper by Adam et al.
In your presentation:
1. Choose a specific sensor or sensor type that has been developed for the detection of metal
ion, biochemical, toxin, or other environmentally relevant species.
2. Describe as quantitatively as possible the chemistry behind the sensor.
3. Describe how the sensor is made, particularly in the chemistry or engineering underlying
its construction.
4. Discuss how the sensor’s operation has been validated.
5. Review the applications for the sensor.
6. Evaluate any limitations or problems in the use or deployment of the sensor.
Adam, V., Zehnalek, J., Petrlova, J., Potesil, D., Sures, B., Trnkova, L.,Jelen, F., Vitecek, J., and
Kizek, R., 2005. Phytochelatin modified electrode surface as a sensitive heavy-metal ion
biosensor. Sensors 5, 70-84.
Lotierzo, M., Henry, O.Y.F., Piletsky, S., Tothill, I., Cullen, D., Kania, M., Hockb, B., Turner,
A.P.F., 2004. Surface plasmon resonance sensor for domoic acid based on grafted
imprinted polymer. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 20, 145–152.
Nivens, D.E., McKnight, T.E., Moser, S.A., Osbourn, S.J., Simpson, m.L., and Sayler, G.S.,
2004. Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuits: potentially small, rugged and
inexpensive whole-cell biosensors for remote environmental monitoring. Journal of
Applied Microbiology 96, 33–46.