Environment monitoring, security and food quality control Biosensing Device for the Detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisons based on Smart Nanomaterials

The main objective of this project is the development of an electrochemical cell-on-a-chip for the detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisonings (PSPs), such as Saxitoxins. The biochip platform will combine the biomimetic recognition elements, the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy sensing unit, the microfluidic system and the data processing readout system. The biosensor will be designed to allow portability, becoming a valuable device for in-situ monitoring of waters. The detector will also be able to give quick responses, an important feature in case of shellfish contaminated waters. To achieve these goals, we will look for some specific tasks to be addressed. The design of selective and stable molecular imprinted polymers (biorecognition elements) by imprinting saxitoxins within smart nanomaterials; the assembly and functionalization of the support material; the enhancement of the sensitivity of detection through the use of nanostructured support materials such as graphene; the development of an electrochemical portable platform for the acquisition and transduce of the analytical signal, the optimization of the microfluidic interface and the miniaturization of the system allowing multi-detection screening. Current targeted applications includes the rapid and sensitive detection of PSPs although this platform should be able to work, in a near future, as a broader platform for detection and quantification of waterborne microbial pathogens. 

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