Quantum dots as components of electrochemical sensing platforms for the detection of environmental and food pollutants: a review

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The determination of organic and inorganic environmental and food pollutants is a key matter of concern in Analytical Chemistry due to their effects as a serious threat to human health. Focused on this issue, several methodologies involving the use of nanostructured electrochemical platforms have been recently reported in literature. Among these methods, those implying the use of quantum dots (QDs) stand out because of features such as signal amplification, good reproducibility and selectivity and the possibility for multiplexed detection also keeping the outstanding characteristics of electrochemical methodologies with respect to simplicity, easy-to-use and cost effective instrumentation. This review describes recent electrochemical strategies, in which design QDs play a key role, for the determination of pollutants in food and environmental samples. The particular role of QDs in the reported methodologies, their preparation and the electrochemical platform design, as well as the advantages that QDs provide in the analysis of target analytes are critically discussed.