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Innovative Methods to Improve The Sensitivity of Nanosensors For Detection of Biomolecules in Food Systems

Afrasiabi, Zahra
Lincoln University
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The main goal of this project is to receive a short-term training by PI for learning new techniques to specifically increase the sensitivity of nanosensors in detecting biomolecules. It is collaborative arrangement to enhance Lincoln University's institutional capacity with the goal of leading to future research projects while strengthening the competitiveness of the collaborating investigators' research activities.Due to growing concern about outbreaks of food poisoning and the associated costs, there is always need for development of better sensors that can accurately detect dangerous, disease-causing pathogens. Food and water are the common targets of pathogen contaminations. It is crucial to ensure the safety of the food and water supplies using an accurate, simple, and fast-response device. Existing methods, such as "electronic noses" and "electronic tongues" require expensive equipment, are time consuming, and involve complicated analyses. There has been ongoing research in this area, especially towards developing simple and portable sensors to detect bacterial contamination.There are two main objectives for this proposed project: a) The PI to receive training on radioactive labeling of proteins with I-125 and mathematical modeling in the collaborator's laboratory in UCLA; b) Collaborative research of the two investigators at LU and UCLA to develop new techniques for pre-concentrating target molecules prior to detection with paper-based, point-of-need nanosensors.Agriculturalists and infectious disease specialists have emphasized the agricultural need of sensors for infectious diseases. Development of any technique that can improve the detection limit of currently available sensors is expected to create a huge impact in the infectious disease community. By careful variation of the markers, this platform can be used to detect various harmful pathogens.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens