Molecular sensors for environmental, industrial and clinical applications (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandra Maria Bossi
Alessandra Maria Bossi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 2, 2020 al Jun 12, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the theoretical and practical basis of sensors and biosensors technology. The role and kind of receptors, the transduction systems and of the main conjugation methods will be discussed in details, pointing out strong points and limits characterizing each system. Selected industrial and environmental sensor’s applications intended for the quali-quantitative determination of analytes of industrial interest, soil, water and air contaminants will be presented as case studies.


The program stars with the general introduction to the concepts of sensor and analyte.

Description of the characteristics of the receptor element:
- biological molecules: receptors, antibodies, enzymes; nucleic acids
-biomimetics: imprinted polymers, cyclodextrins, cavitands
- organic selective materials: permeable membranes, etc.

The description of the principles of signal transduction for the most common transducers:
-electrochemicals: voltammetrics, amperometers, field effect transducers
-optical: SPR, fluorescence

The transducer/receptor interface:
- surface chemistry and interface analysis techniques

Some selected sensor applications:
-environmental (PFAS, estrogens, explosives, drugs)
-clinical (glucose sensor, metabolites)
- industrial (product aging monitoring)
-wearable sensors
-intelligent packaging

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is aimed at verifying the acquisition by the student of the skills described in the objectives (knowledge of the concepts of sensor, the types of receptors and the main types of transducers, including their working principles, hoe to prepare a transducer receptor interface, exemplificative applications).
The exam is written, open questions, 2 hours. The written exam is integrated, upon student’s request, with an oral verification.