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This issue of Electroanalysis is dedicated to papers presented at the Mátrafüred′11 International Conference on Electrochemical Sensors held in June 19–24, 2011 in Dobogókö, Hungary. The Mátrafüred conference series was initiated in the early seventies and witnessed for many years the most notable advances and disputes in the field of ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) and electrochemical sensors. While started dominantly as an ion-selective electrode conference, the discovery of optodes, based on the same ionophores as ISEs but generating an optical signal, the continuous implementation of new materials as well as the integration of electrochemical sensors in flow systems rapidly and naturally broadened the scope of the conference to other electroanalytical and biosensing principles. At this yeards event an additional effort was made to further bridge between the traditional topics and various other sensing-related fields in terms of applications, technologies and materials. This was facilitated by almost 20 invited speakers – well known personalities of electrochemistry, chemical and biosensing, environmental as well as life sciences – including C. Amatore (France), E. Bakker (Switzerland), A. Bond (Australia), P. Bühlmann (USA), R. Crooks (USA), R. De Marco (Australia), A. Ewing (Sweden), G.-U. Flechsig (Germany), M. Gratzl (USA), R. Gyurcsányi (Hungary), E. Hall (UK), E. Lindner (USA), T. Lindfors (Finland), M. E. Meyerhoff (USA), W. Qin (China), F. X. Rius (Spain), Z. Samec (Czech Republic), J. Wang (USA), and B. Wehrli (Switzerland).

Highlighted topics in 2011 were:

– Voltammetry and coulometry with ISEs

– Emerging nanostructures for sensing: autonomous nanomotors, nanotubes, nanoparticles, nanopores, nanocapsules

– Environmental and diagnostic applications of electrochemical sensors

– Advances in electroanalytical monitoring of oxidative stress and neurotransmitter release

– 3D chemical imaging and multiplexed sensing

– New modalities and materials for electrochemical sensing

– Solid contact ISEs

Beside cutting edge science, time was also allocated for retrospective views, this year by Richard Durst, to make newcomers acquainted with major discoveries and pioneers of the field of electrochemical sensors. One such outstanding personality was Richard P. Buck, a pioneer of electroanalysis and physical electrochemistry, mentor and good friend of many participants, who passed away this year and to whom we dedicate this special memorial issue.

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Erik Bakker

University of Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland

Philippe Bümann

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, US

Róbert E. Gyurcsányi

Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Budapest, Hungary

Ernö Pretsch

ETH Zürich

Zürich, Switzerland

Joseph Wang

University of California

San Diego

La Jolla, CA, USA

In 2011, this single session conference brought together more than 110 academic and industrial participants from 25 countries and 4 continents. The conference received generous support from 11 companies (listed below) that made it possible to keep the participation costs low. A major goal of the organizing committee is to make the conference widely available for young scientists, whom we were able to welcome in great numbers.

The conference preserved its unique relaxing and discussion-oriented atmosphere, giving much room for interaction between the participants. Beside the invited lectures, the conference included 16 oral presentations. Evening discussions were organized around three topics of general interest for the participants: (i) practical aspects of measurements with ISEs, (ii) pushing the limits of ionophore-based sensors, and (iii) the future of chemical sensing and, in particular, electrochemical sensing. As a matter of tradition, in-depth discussions continued further in the evening during the poster sessions with a glass of wine. Three sessions totaling 64 poster presentations included among the highlights topics such as the synthesis and analytical application of new receptors and materials, as well as novel sensing methodologies and original biomedical applications.

While a remote location certainly favors focusing on science and forging collaborations between participants, it is important for those traveling long distances to bring home also a flavor of the hosting country. This was facilitated by the conference banquet held during a wonderful boat cruise on the Danube from the Royal Palace in Visegrád to the center of Budapest, ending with a drink on the Fishermands Bastion that offered during a balmy summer night a magnificent view over the old and proud city of Budapest.2

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Figure 2. We look forward to meet again at the next Mátrafüred conference!

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