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WAGENINGEN, Netherlands

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.3.3 | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2013

Current methodologies for detection of food contamination based on heavy analytical tools cannot guarantee a safe and stable food supply. The reasons are the complexity, the long time-to-result (2-3 days) and the cost of these tools, which limit the number of samples that can be practically analyzed at food processing and storage sites. The need for screening tools that will be still reliable but simple, fast, low-cost, sensitive and portable for in-situ application is thus urgent. BIOFOS aims to address this need through a high-added value, reusable biosensor system based on optical interference and lab-on-a-chip (LoC) technology.To do this, BIOFOS will combine the most promising concepts from the photonic, biological, nanochemical and fluidic parts of LoC systems, aiming to overcome limitations related to sensitivity, specificity, reliability, compactness and cost issues. BIOFOS will rely on the ultra-low loss TriPleX photonic platform in order to integrate on a 4x5 mm2 chip 8 micro-ring resonators, a VCSEL and 16 Si photodiodes, and achieve a record detection limit in the change of the refractive index of 510-8 RIU. To support reusability and high specificity, it will rely on aptamers as biotransducers, targeting at chips for 30 uses. Advanced surface functionalization techniques will be used for the immobilization of aptamers, and new microfluidic structures will be introduced for the sample pre-treatment and the regeneration process. BIOFOS will assemble the parts in a 5x10x10 cm3 package for a sample-in-result-out, multi-analyte biosensor. The system will be validated in real settings against antibiotics, mycotoxins, pesticides and copper in milk, olive oil and nuts, aiming at detection below the legislation limits and time-to-result only 5 minutes. Based on the reusability concept, BIOFOS also aims at reducing the cost per analysis by at least a factor of 10 in the short- and 30 in the mid-term, paving the way for the commercial success of the technology.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.3.3 | Award Amount: 3.09M | Year: 2013

In the milk industry, one of most pressing unmet needs is the timely detection of mycotoxins that originate from animal feed and are secreted into milk. In particular, milk and dairy products can be contaminated by aflatoxin M1, a potent carcinogen. The aflatoxin contamination represents a hazard for human health and an economic loss for the dairy industry. The available technology for aflatoxin detection is i) laboratory-based, ii) requires sample preparation, iii) does not provide timely identification of the carcinogen, thus iv) fails to deliver cost-effective management of contaminated milk.
In this context, the SYMPHONY project aims to overcome these limitations by the integration of heterogeneous technologies, encompassing photonics, microfluidics and system integration, in a miniaturised smart system that will perform low cost label free detection of aflatoxin in milk and prevent infection of dairy products. The main goal is to produce an automated sampling and analysis system to be used on-line in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). In our strategy the following key enabling technologies will converge:
1) microfluidic technologies and biochemistry, to provide a miniaturised device capable of sample purification and pre-concentration by using the selectivity of aptamers and antibodies;2) photonic resonators integrated in microsystem technologies, for highly sensitive detection;3) compact hardware for the integration in the production chain and communication interfaces compatible with the information system of the industry.
In our vision, the system will represent a breakthrough for the dairy industry, leading toward precision process management. The smart system will be assessed on site and end-users will be involved in the evaluation of technical results, thus creating a close collaboration between SMEs who supply sensors, systems and microsystems, and to improve the exploitation of MNBS in industrial settings.

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