Special Issue: "Supramolecular Sensors" - Sensors Journal

Guest Editor
Dr. P. J. Cragg
School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
Cockcroft Building, University of Brighton
Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ, UK
E-mail: P.J.Cragg@bton.ac.uk; http://www.brighton.ac.uk/pharmacy/contact/details.php?uid=pjc10

Deadline for Paper submission: Closed


Supramolecular chemistry is a comparatively young branch of the science that began to emerge as a distinct discipline in the late 1960s. Although work on complex molecular systems can be traced back to the early 19th Century, the term 'supramolecular chemistry' was only introduced in 1987 by the Nobel Prize winning chemist Jean-Marie Lehn. He defined it as the "chemistry of molecular assemblies and of the intermolecular bond" or, more simply, "chemistry beyond the molecule". Given this definition, almost all of chemistry and biology could be thought of as 'supramolecular' - from the crystallisation of sodium chloride to viral infection - but, crucially, supramolecular researchers use their knowledge of intermolecular interactions to manipulate molecular recognition events.
Sensing applications of supramolecular chemistry, in which molecules are chosen for their size, shape and charge complementarity with the desired analyte, rely on exploiting the forces involved in the formation of non-covalent 'host-guest' complexes. The 'host' molecules, containing a binding site that is highly specific for an analyte 'guest', are used as sensors to register analyte binding through a variety of mechanisms such as colorimetric, fluorescent or electrochemical signals. The most significant non-covalent factors are electrostatics, cation-? interactions, hydrogen bonding, ?-? stacking and van der Waals forces. Although often individually weak, these intermolecular interactions exert a great influence on the stability of supramolecular complexes through a synergistic effect.               
The application of a 'supramolecular philosophy' to problems in analytical science has led to a range of molecules capable of recognising analytes with high specificity.  In all cases the requirements of the sensor are the same: the host must bind to the guest in preference to all competing species and it must register the binding event in a measureable form. This has led to the 'receptor-spacer-reporter' design of many supramolecular sensors.
This issue of Sensors illustrates the range of compounds that can be incorporated into sensors to help detect and monitor analytes of environmental and medical importance.  Supramolecular chemistry is central to such research as it stands at a point where the spheres of chemistry, biology and diagnostic techniques intersect.


supramolecular, sensor, host-guest, macrocycle, crown ether, calixarene, luminescent, fluorescent, colorimetric, electrochemical, redox active.


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All papers should be submitted to sensors@mdpi.org with copy to the guest editors. To be published continuously until the deadline and papers will be listed together at the special websites.

Please visit the instructions for authors at http://www.mdpi.org/sensors/publguid.htm before submitting a paper. Open Access publication fees are 800 CHF per paper. English correction fees (250 CHF) will be added in certain cases (1050 CHF per paper for those papers that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections).

Published Papers

Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts  #, Frederieke van der Baan, Rebecca S. Zimmerman, David N. Reinhoudt and Mercedes Crego-Calama #,*
Department of Supramolecular Chemistry and Technology, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.
# Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts’ current address is: Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, Dublin City University, Collins Avenue, Dublin 9, Ireland.
E-mail: lourdes.b.desmonts@dcu.ie
# Mercedes Crego-Calama’s current address is: Stichting IMEC Nederland/Holst Centre, PO Box 8550, 5605 KN, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
E-mail: mercedes.cregocalama@imec-nl.nl
Received: 20 August 2007 / Accepted: 4 September 2007 / Published: 5 September 2007

Full Paper: Cross-Reactive Sensor Array for Metal Ion Sensing Based on Fluorescent SAMs
Sensors 2007, 7, 1731-1746 (PDF format, 1208 K)

Susana P. G. Costa 1,*, Elisabete Oliveira 2, Carlos Lodeiro 2,* and M. Manuela M. Raposo 1
1 Centro de Química, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
E-mail: spc@quimica.uminho.pt.
2 REQUIMTE, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Monte de Caparica, Portugal
E-mail: lodeiro@dq.fct.unl.pt.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2007 / Accepted: 27 September 2007 / Published: 3 October 2007
Full Paper: Synthesis, Characterization and Metal Ion Detection of Novel Fluoroionophores Based on Heterocyclic Substituted Alanines
Sensors 2007, 7, 2096-2114 (PDF format, 580 K)

Jiaqiang Ren, He Tian *
Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials & Institute of Fine Chemicals, East China University of Science & Technology, Shanghai 200237, P. R. China; E-mails: Jiaqiang Ren: renjq1978@yahoo.com; He Tian: tianhe@ecust.edu.cn
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Fax: +86-21-64252288; Email: tianhe@ecust.edu.cn
Received: 30 October 2007 / Accepted: 3 November 2007 / Published: 6 December 2007

Full Paper: Thermally Stable Merocyanine Form of Photochromic Spiropyran with Aluminum Ion as a Reversible Photo-driven Sensor in Aqueous Solution
Sensors 2007, 7, 3166-3178 (PDF format, 410 K)

Open Access
Farnoush Faridbod 1, Mohammad Reza Ganjali 1,*,  Rassoul Dinarvand 2, Parviz Norouzi 1 and Siavash Riahi 3
1 Center of Excellence in Electrochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2 Medical Nanotechnology Research Centre, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6451, Iran
3 Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6455, Iran
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-mail: ganjali@khayam.ut.ac.ir
Received: 31 December 2007 / Accepted: 22 February 2008 / Published: 11 March 2008

Review: Schiff's Bases and Crown Ethers as Supramolecular Sensing Materials in Construction of the Potentiometric Membrane Sensors
Sensors 2008, 8, 1645-1703 (PDF format, 338 K)

Open Access
Matthieu Becuwe, David Landy, François Delattre, Francine Cazier and Sophie Fourmentin *
Laboratoire de Synthèse Organique et Environnement (EA 2599), 145 Avenue Maurice Schumann, 59140 Dunkerque, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-mail: lamotte@univ-littoral.fr
Received: 23 April 2008; in revised form: 25 May 2008 / Accepted: 29 May 2008 / Published: 2 June 2008

Article: Fluorescent Indolizine-ß-Cyclodextrin Derivatives for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds
Sensors 2008, 8, 3689-3705 (PDF format, 609 K) DOI: 10.3390/s8063689


Related papers published in 2006

Special Issue of Supramolecular Sensors
Guest Editors:
Patrick Shahgaldian (E-mail: patrick.shahgaldian@fhnw.ch) and Anthony W. Coleman
Sensors 2006, 6, 860-1086

Mr. Matthias Burkhalter

Assistant Editor
MDPI Center - Sensors Office
Kandererstrasse 25 - CH-4057 Basel / Switzerland
E-mail: sensors@mdpi.org
Tel +41 61 683 7734, Fax +41 61 302 8918

Sensors Journal Special Issues

MDPI - Matthias Burkhalter - 29 August 2008