Staff directory Qiuyue Yang

Qiuyue Yang

Fellowship Doctoral Student
China Scholarship Council
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors



  • A plug, print & play inkjet printing and impedance-based biosensing technology operating through a smartphone for clinical diagnostics

    Rosati G., Urban M., Zhao L., Yang Q., de Carvalho Castro e Silva C., Bonaldo S., Parolo C., Nguyen E.P., Ortega G., Fornasiero P., Paccagnella A., Merkoçi A. Biosensors and Bioelectronics; 196 (113737) 2022. 10.1016/j.bios.2021.113737. IF: 10.618

    Simplicity is one of the key feature for the spread of any successful technological product. Here, a method for rapid and low-cost fabrication of electrochemical biosensors is presented. This “plug, print & play” method involves inkjet-printing even in an office-like environment, without the need of highly specialized expertise or equipment, guaranteeing an ultra-fast idea to (scaled) prototype production time. The printed biosensors can be connected to a smartphone through its audio input for their impedance readout, demonstrating the validity of the system for point-of-care biosensing. Proper electrodes layout guarantees high sensitivity and is validated by finite element simulations. The introduction of a passivation method (wax printing) allowed to complete the devices fabrication process, increasing their sensitivity. Indeed, the wax allowed reducing the interference related to the parasitic currents flowing through the permeable coating of the employed substrates, which was used for the chemical sintering, thus avoiding the common thermal treatment after printing. As a case study, we used the devices to develop an electrochemical aptamer-based sensor for the rapid detection of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) in urine – a clinically important marker of acute kidney injury. The aptasensor platform is capable of detecting clinically relevant concentrations of NGAL with a simple and rapid smartphone readout. The developed technology may be extended in the future to continuous monitoring, taking advantage of its flexibility to integrate it in tubes, or to other diagnostic applications where cost/efficiency and rapidity of the research, development and implementation of point of care devices is a must. © 2021

  • An innovative autonomous robotic system for on-site detection of heavy metal pollution plumes in surface water

    De Vito-Francesco E., Farinelli A., Yang Q., Nagar B., Álvarez R., Merkoçi A., Knutz T., Haider A., Stach W., Ziegenbalg F., Allabashi R. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment; 194 (2, 122) 2022. 10.1007/s10661-021-09738-z. IF: 2.513

    Smart monitoring has been studied and developed in recent years to create faster, cheaper, and more user-friendly on-site methods. The present study describes an innovative technology for investigative monitoring of heavy metal pollution (Cu and Pb) in surface water. It is composed of an autonomous surface vehicle capable of semiautonomous driving and equipped with a microfluidic device for detection of heavy metals. Detection is based on the method of square wave anodic stripping voltammetry using carbon-based screen-printed electrodes (SPEs). The focus of this work was to validate the ability of the integrated system to perform on-site detection of heavy metal pollution plumes in river catchments. This scenario was simulated in laboratory experiments. The main performance characteristics of the system, which was evaluated based on ISO 15839 were measurement bias (Pb 75%, Cu 65%), reproducibility (in terms of relative standard deviation: Pb 11–18%, Cu 6–10%) and the limit of detection (4 µg/L for Pb and 7 µg/L for Cu). The lowest detectable change (LDC), which is an important performance characteristic for this application, was estimated to be 4–5 µg/L for Pb and 6–7 µg/L for Cu. The life span of an SPE averaged 39 measurements per day, which is considered sufficient for intended monitoring campaigns. This work demonstrated the suitability of the integrated system for on-site detection of Pb and Cu emissions from large and medium urban areas discharging into small water bodies. © 2022, The Author(s).

  • Graphene Nanobeacons with High-Affinity Pockets for Combined, Selective, and Effective Decontamination and Reagentless Detection of Heavy Metals

    Panáček D., Zdražil L., Langer M., Šedajová V., Baďura Z., Zoppellaro G., Yang Q., Nguyen E.P., Álvarez-Diduk R., Hrubý V., Kolařík J., Chalmpes N., Bourlinos A.B., Zbořil R., Merkoçi A., Bakandritsos A., Otyepka M. Small; 18 (33, 2201003) 2022. 10.1002/smll.202201003.

    Access to clean water for drinking, sanitation, and irrigation is a major sustainable development goal of the United Nations. Thus, technologies for cleaning water and quality-monitoring must become widely accessible and of low-cost, while being effective, selective, sustainable, and eco-friendly. To meet this challenge, hetero-bifunctional nanographene fluorescent beacons with high-affinity pockets for heavy metals are developed, offering top-rated and selective adsorption for cadmium and lead, reaching 870 and 450 mg g-1, respectively. The heterobifunctional and multidentate pockets also operate as selective gates for fluorescence signal regulation with sub-nanomolar sensitivity (0.1 and 0.2 nm for Pb2+ and Cd2+, respectively), due to binding affinities as low as those of antigen-antibody interactions. Importantly, the acid-proof nanographenes can be fully regenerated and reused. Their broad visible-light absorption offers an additional mode for water-quality monitoring based on ultra-low cost and user-friendly reagentless paper detection with the naked-eye at a limit of detection of 1 and 10 ppb for Pb2+ and Cd2+ ions, respectively. This work shows that photoactive nanomaterials, densely-functionalized with strong, yet selective ligands for targeted contaminants, can successfully combine features such as excellent adsorption, reusability, and sensing capabilities, in a way to extend the material's applicability, its life-cycle, and value-for-money. © 2022 The Authors. Small published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

  • Label-free and reagentless electrochemical genosensor based on graphene acid for meat adulteration detection

    Flauzino J.M.R., Nguyen E.P., Yang Q., Rosati G., Panáček D., Brito-Madurro A.G., Madurro J.M., Bakandritsos A., Otyepka M., Merkoçi A. Biosensors and Bioelectronics; 195 (113628) 2022. 10.1016/j.bios.2021.113628. IF: 10.618

    With the increased demand for beef in emerging markets, the development of quality-control diagnostics that are fast, cheap and easy to handle is essential. Especially where beef must be free from pork residues, due to religious, cultural or allergic reasons, the availability of such diagnostic tools is crucial. In this work, we report a label-free impedimetric genosensor for the sensitive detection of pork residues in meat, by leveraging the biosensing capabilities of graphene acid - a densely and selectively functionalized graphene derivative. A single stranded DNA probe, specific for the pork mitochondrial genome, was immobilized onto carbon screen-printed electrodes modified with graphene acid. It was demonstrated that graphene acid improved the charge transport properties of the electrode, following a simple and rapid electrode modification and detection protocol. Using non-faradaic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, which does not require any electrochemical indicators or redox pairs, the detection of pork residues in beef was achieved in less than 45 min (including sample preparation), with a limit of detection of 9% w/w pork content in beef samples. Importantly, the sample did not need to be purified or amplified, and the biosensor retained its performance properties unchanged for at least 4 weeks. This set of features places the present pork DNA sensor among the most attractive for further development and commercialization. Furthermore, it paves the way for the development of sensitive and selective point-of-need sensing devices for label-free, fast, simple and reliable monitoring of meat purity. © 2021

  • Wearable and fully printed microfluidic nanosensor for sweat rate, conductivity, and copper detection with healthcare applications

    Yang Q., Rosati G., Abarintos V., Aroca M.A., Osma J.F., Merkoçi A. Biosensors and Bioelectronics; 202 (114005) 2022. 10.1016/j.bios.2022.114005. IF: 10.618

    Wearables are becoming pervasive in our society, but they are still mainly based on physical sensors with just few optical and electrochemical exceptions. Sweat, amongst other body fluids, is easily and non-invasively accessible, abundant, and relatively poor of interfering species. The biomarkers of interest in sweat space from ions and small molecules to whole organisms. Heavy metals have been found being biomarkers of several diseases and pathological conditions. Copper in particular is correlated to Wilson's disease and liver cirrhosis among others. Nevertheless, several issues such as sampling conditions, sweat rate normalization, reliable continuous monitoring, and typically expensive fabrication methods still needs to be addressed in sweat analysis with wearables. Herein, we propose a fully printed wearable microfluidic nanosensor with an integrated wireless smartphone-based readout. Our system can easily be applied on the skin and actively stimulate perspiration, normalizing the heavy metals concentration with respect to the volume of the sample and the sweat rate. The system has a limit of detection of 396 ppb, a linear range up to 2500 ppb and a sensitivity of 2.3 nA/ppb. © 2022