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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 65

by Professor D. P. Nikolelis, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, Professor U. J. Krull, Chemistry Department, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Professor J. Wang, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruses, New Mexico, U.S.A. and Professor M. Mascini, Institute of Analytical Chemistry, University of Firenze, Firenze, Italy

On May 4-8, 1997, a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on "Biosensors for Direct Monitoring of Environmental Pollutants in Field" was held in Smolenice, Slovakia. This NATO ARW on biosensors for environmental applications provided an excellent expose of the numerous formats and chemistries that are being explored for biosensor development, examples of practical use of such technologies, and identification of issues that must be addressed to deal with further practical implementation. This book consists of the invited lectures delivered during this ARW.

A number of books dealing with biosensors have been published in the past decade, and have mainly focused on medical applications. This is a direct result of the worldwide interest and extensive activity in the development of clinical analyses. Biosensors have not yet made a large impact in the area of environmental applications, but it is clear that interest and applications developments are increasing as environmental problems and the need for measurements and controls continue to expand. Biosensors offer distinct advantages in comparison to standard analytical methods, such as capability for real-time detection in the field, with minimal sample preparation and handling. The new book (NATO ASI SERIES 2-38) presents a compendium of recent advances in the area of biosensor research, including the construction of devices for the direct monitoring of environmental pollutants in field. These advances are largely focused on the creation of reagentless and self-referencing systems that provide capability for multi-analyte detection. Of particular significance is that some of the biosensors for environmental applications operate by monitoring the impact of pollutants on biological "receptors" (e.g. enzymes associated with nervous system function), and therefore have direct relevance to the determination of the effects of contaminants on human health. Major issues facing the field of biosensor development (including both medical and environmental applications) require efforts to be made in the fundamental development of stable "receptors", and applications-oriented validation studies for comparison of the new technologies to accepted analytical methods.

The new book highlights recent advances in the construction of devices to directly monitor environmental contaminants. The book contains sections about recent trends in analytical methodology for determination of indoor and outdoor pollutants, advances in biosensors for identification of DNA and biologicals, examples of biosensors for uses in water analysis, biosensors based on non- aqueous systems and recent technological advances in miniaturization and micromachining of biosensors. Each contribution has been peer reviewed, and special care has been taken to produce each chapter in a tutorial manner so that it is useful to newcomers and experts in the field. This unique feature of presentation of each chapter, taken together with the timeliness and breadth covered by the topics, make this book a single reference volume for the whole field of environmental analysis and monitoring.
Reference books: 2-8, 2-38, A250, C96, G16, G31, G34

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