Tallinn University of Technology

Ahead of the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, Tallinn University of Technology recognised its best of its best. The title of Best Research Article of the Year was awarded to four articles in three domains.

Priit Tikker_TalTechi aasta teaduartikli üks autoritest
Priit Tikker, one of the authors of the best research articles

The Research Article of the Year in natural, exact, and health sciences explores a novel sensor for SARS-Cov-2 antigen detection based on a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) receptor integrated into a portable electrochemical sensor platform. Due to their excellent chemical and thermal stability, simple fabrication technology, reproducible properties, reusability, and automatability, MIPs are promising sensor materials for the manufacture of low-cost and reliable sensors for medical diagnostics.

Connecting a portable MIP-based sensor to a smart device with the appropriate app enables rapid and remote COVID-19 diagnostics, greatly simplifying the preliminary diagnosis of diseases or continuous assessment of the patient’s condition. In addition, the MIP methodology could essentially be adapted for the detection of any pathogen and its development would contribute to preparedness for future pandemics.

An international patent application has already been filed based on the results of the article.

The article, entitled Development of a portable MIP-based electrochemical sensor for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen, was published in the scientific journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics of ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA, which publishes leading-edge research articles.

The authors of the article are: Anna Kidakov, Roman Boroznjak, Jekaterina Reut, Professor Andres Öpik, Vitali Sõritski.

In the domain of engineering and technology, TalTech recognised the two best research articles.

The first article describes a novel and workable optimised method for the oxidation of persistent water pollutants.

It explores the development of a pulsed corona discharge (PCD) technology aimed at direct practical applications of deep oxidation technology; the innovativeness of the research is enhanced by the combination of the method with the addition of external oxidants.

The objective of the research was to optimise the PCD process based on the process parameters: pollutant concentration, pH, gas–liquid contact surface area, and external oxidant concentration. The solutions proposed in the article show good prospects for the wider implementation of PCD and have clear potential for the reduction of pollution in our living environment.

The article, entitled Effects of persulfate and hydrogen peroxide on oxidation of oxalate by pulsed corona discharge, was published in the high-level scientific publication Chemical Engineering Journal.

The authors of the article are: Priit Tikker, Niina Dulova, Professor Sergei Preis.

The second article in the domain of engineering and technology, entitled Energy cascade connection of a low-temperature district heating network to the return line of a high-temperature district heating network, explores the development of a method for connecting new or reconstructed groups of buildings to an existing district heating network in a way that reduces heat losses in the district heating network and increases the efficiency of the flue gas condensers of the cogeneration plants and boiler plants.

The application has the potential to play an important role in improving the energy efficiency of building stocks, and the proposed solution can be applied to all major networks in Estonia and many European cities.

This will contribute to the decarbonisation of the district heating sector and the improvement of the energy efficiency of the networks, as well as to the gradual transition to 4th-generation district heating networks.

The research article was published in the top-tier scientific journal Energy.

The authors of the article are: Anna Volkova, Igor Krupenski, Aleksandr Ledvanov, Aleksandr Hlebnikov, Kertu Lepiksaar, Eduard Latõšov, Vladislav Mašatin.

The Research Article of the Year in the social sciences and humanities explores a highly topical global issue: the sociomaterial aspects of technologies related to COVID-19 management and monitoring.

It takes a detailed look at four digital technologies that have been adopted nearly worldwide by public authorities as virus containment measures: infrared temperature sensors; ICT-based monitoring and contact tracking systems; bioinformatics tools and applications for laboratory testing; and electronic mass media.

The authors present practical recommendations for public authorities on how digital technologies can be deployed for pandemic control.

The article, entitled Not everything is as it seems: Digital technology affordance, pandemic control, and the mediating role of sociomaterial arrangements, was published in the journal Government Information Quarterly and has received widespread interest and recognition from the scientific community, experts, and international organisations (WHO).

The author of the article is: Professor Luca Mora.