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More than 1000 pesticides are used for pest control worldwide to protect crops against various pests such as insects, weeds, or fungi. As pesticides are potentially toxic for humans, the WHO has been developing internationally-accepted maximum residue limits for food products. Regular monitoring of pesticide residues in food and drinking water is of utmost importance to protect consumer health.
Current methods for pesticide analysis are expensive, time consuming and require specialized laboratory equipment. Based on their inhibitory effect on the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, organophosphorus pesticides – the most widely used class of pesticides – can alternatively be detected by electrochemical biosensors. However, no system for this kind of analysis is commercially available yet.
The subproject of SCIENION focused on the development of methods for the immobilization of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) with maintaining the bioactivity, the development of computer interfaces and system integration. SCIENION has developed new techniques for enzyme immobilization of acetylcholinesterase on biosensors equipped with gold electrodes. Sensors loaded with AChE were successfully tested by the project partners IMT and HSG-IMIT.
Loading Biosensors with sciFLEXARRAYER Technology
The goal of the joint research project PESTIPLAT was the development of an integrated easy-to-use platform for fully automated detection of organophosphorus pesticides using an enzymatic biosensor to allow quick on-site analyses in the fields of food safety, agriculture or environmental technologies. Project objectives included the development of amperometric microbiosensor for direct detection of organophosphorus pesticides and the development of a microfluidic module hosting the biosensor and pH and temperature sensors. SCIENION and three other partners collaborated in an EU funded project.