3 years ago

Colorimetric Nanofibers as Optical Sensors

Colorimetric Nanofibers as Optical Sensors
Ella Schoolaert, Richard Hoogenboom, Karen De Clerck
Sensors play a major role in many applications today, ranging from biomedicine to safety equipment, where they detect and warn us about changes in the environment. Nanofibers, characterized by high porosity, flexibility, and a large specific surface area, are the ideal material for ultrasensitive, fast-responding, and user-friendly sensor design. Indeed, a large specific surface area increases the sensitivity and response time of the sensor as the contact area with the analyte is enlarged. Thanks to the flexibility of membranes, nanofibrous sensors cannot only be applied in high-end analyte detection, but also in personal, daily use. Many different nanofibrous sensors have already been designed; albeit, the most straightforward and easiest-to-interpret sensor response is a visual change in color, which is of particular interest in the case of warning signals. Recently, many researchers have focused on the design of so-called colorimetric nanofibers, which typically involve the incorporation of a colorimetric functionality into the nanofibrous matrix. Many different strategies have been used and explored for colorimetric nanofibrous sensor design, which are outlined in this feature article. The many examples and applications demonstrate the value of colorimetric nanofibers for advanced optical sensor design, and could provide directions for future research in this area. The design of colorimetric nanofibrous materials for advanced, ultrasensitive, and user-friendly optical sensors is a hot topic recently. By combining electrospinning and a chromogenic agent, color-changing nanofibers responsive to specific analytes are designed, which are applied in many application areas. This feature article gives an overview of several techniques used for the production of colorimetric nanofibrous sensors.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201702646

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