Keywords: affinity–based detection, electrochemical biosensors, optical biosensors, environmental monitoring, heavy metals, health hazards, health risks, pollution monitoring, environmental pollution, biosensing
Affinity–based biosensors for heavy metal detection
In recent years, there has been a pressing need for fast and reliable methods for environmental monitoring. Among the various pollutants, the heavy metals are some of the most harmful because these substances are non–biodegradable and retained by the ecological system. Conventional analytical techniques for heavy metals imply high cost, trained personnel and the repute that they are mostly laboratory bound. Conversely, biosensors have the advantages of low cost, ease of use, portability and ability to perform both screening and real–time monitoring of the area under investigation. This paper presents a review of the use of affinity–based biosensors for the analysis of heavy metals, taking into particular account the general principles and characteristics as well as some representative applications of protein, antibody and aptamer–based biosensors. This review covers several papers published recently, highlighting the improvement reached in this field of research.