Nano-enabled sensing of per-/poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from aqueous systems – A review

Shafali Garg, Pankaj Kumar, George W. Greene, Vandana Mishra, Dror Avisar, Radhey Shyam Sharma*, Ludovic F. Dumée*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Per-/poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging class of environmental contaminants used as an additive across various commodity and fire-retardant products, for their unique thermo-chemical stability, and to alter their surface properties towards selective liquid repellence. These properties also make PFAS highly persistent and mobile across various environmental compartments, leading to bioaccumulation, and causing acute ecotoxicity at all trophic levels particularly to human populations, thus increasing the need for monitoring at their repositories or usage sites. In this review, current nano-enabled methods towards PFAS sensing and its monitoring in wastewater are critically discussed and benchmarked against conventional detection methods. The discussion correlates the materials’ properties to the sensitivity, responsiveness, and reproducibility of the sensing performance for nano-enabled sensors in currently explored electrochemical, spectrophotometric, colorimetric, optical, fluorometric, and biochemical with limits of detection of 1.02 × 10−6 μg/L, 2.8 μg/L, 1 μg/L, 0.13 μg/L, 6.0 × 10−5 μg/L, and 4.141 × 10−7 μg/L respectively. The cost-effectiveness of sensing platforms plays an important role in the on-site analysis success and upscalability of nano-enabled sensors. Environmental monitoring of PFAS is a step closer to PFAS remediation. Electrochemical and biosensing methods have proven to be the most reliable tools for future PFAS sensing endeavors with very promising detection limits in an aqueous matrix, short detection times, and ease of fabrication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114655
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2022


FundersFunder number
European Commission
Australian Research Council
Deakin University
Khalifa University of Science, Technology and ResearchRC2-2019-007
Ministry of Education, India
University of Delhi


    • Detection
    • Economics
    • Nanomaterials
    • PFOA
    • PFOS
    • Sensing
    • Water monitoring


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