Colorimetric sensor can be used for both qualitative analytic identification as well as quantitative analysis and find a wide range of applications in chemical and biomolecular analysis (see for instance: "The world's most sensitive plasmon resonance sensor inspired by ancient Roman cup") as well as integration into portable microfluidics lab-on-chip devices (see: "DNAzymes and gold nanoparticles: A colorimetric assay for diagnostics in the field"). "Generally, a colorimetric probe consist of a recognition moiety and a signal moiety," Xiaodong Chen, an assistant professor in the School of Materials Science & Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, explains to Nanowerk. "The sensing strategy is that the recognition moieties exhibit selective response to targets depending on either coordination or chemical reactions between targets and ligands. The signal moiety – usually an organic chromophoric probe – then translates those detecting behaviors into color changes discernible by the eye. Both the components are indispensable and can affect colorimetric performance in terms of selectivity, sensitivity, response time, and so on."
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