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Cellulose Nanocrystals: A Versatile Platform for the Detection of Allergens and Emerging Contaminants


The long-term goal of this research is to advance the understanding and development of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) as a versatile platform for the rapid, low cost, multiplexed detection of food allergens and emerging contaminants (ECs) in water and food. The proposed research will leverage the team's recently developed technology for producing microelectromechanical devices (MEMS) from CNC. The primary focus will be on using cantilever beams for the sensitive mass detection of the target analytes. The three primary research objectives are 1) establish an understanding of, and protocols for, immobilizing the model antibodies on CNC dispersions; 2) measure the properties of CNC films and cantilever beam MEMS devices produced from sulfonated CNC dispersions with and without surface modification, and compare results to literature values for other sensors; and 3) establish the sensitivity and detection limits for each analyte. The results of this research will provide a foundation for using CNC in highly sensitive, low cost, easy to use, portable sensors for the detection of food allergens and emerging contaminants in water and food.

Davis, V. A.
Auburn University
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