Uniscan Instruments Ltd

Buxton, United Kingdom

Uniscan Instruments Ltd

Buxton, United Kingdom
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.36M | Year: 2011

The objective of the FOODSCAN project is to develop a novel and automated biosensor platform for pesticide and other chemical residue detection incorporating membrane-engineered cells with pesticide-specific antibodies. The system is primarily based on the Bioelectric Recognition Assay (BERA) technology. Furthermore a specially designed electronic interface is realized in order to acquire and manipulate the corresponding signals from the real time analysis. The pre-production prototype developed during this project is a Bioelectric Recognition Assay (BERA) sensor aimed at the detection of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyalcanoic (MCPA), other phenoxyalcanoic herbicides, or other small organic contaminants, e.g. 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) (in cork and wine). The product is developed by an SME consortium based in Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Greece and Portugal with the support of RTD performers from the UK and Greece. The European farming community is under a number of threats not least due to the increasing demands to produce higher quality food to increasingly stringent standards. They lack the technology to test their produce for the presence of pesticide residues at the site of production. If a system was developed that gave farmers, food companies and distributors the flexibility to test for a range of analytes regularly and in a cost effective way it would allow them to offer remedial solutions quicker than is currently possible. The conventional analysis of pesticide residues in food commodities is a labour intensive procedure. Standard analysis methods include extensive sample pre-treatmentand determination by gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography to achieve the necessary selectivity and sensitivity for the different classes of compounds under detection. Therefore, rapid pesticide residue testing is necessary.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2009

Recently, the use of smell in different fields has been rediscovered due to major advances in odour sensing technology and artificial intelligence. However, current electronic noses, based on electronic sensors, have significant limitations concerning sensitivity, reliability and selectivity, amongst others. These limitations are at the basis of recurrent troubles of this technology to reach essential applications in different areas, such as food safety, diagnosis, security, environment The present project proposes a new bioelectronic nose based on olfactory receptors in order to mimic the animal nose. For this aim, micro/nano, bio and information technologies will converge to develop an integrated bioelectronic analytical nanoplatform based on olfactory receptors for odour detection. Briefly, the basis of the nanobioplatform will be the olfactory receptors, prepared in the form of nanosomes immobilized onto the nanotransducers (NANO and BIO). An array of smart nanotransducers will acquire and process electronically the detected odour (NANO and INFORMATION). Such an easy-to-use nanobioplatform, with user-friendly interface and odorant identification algorithm, will detect and discriminate the odorants (NANO and INFORMATION). The scientific and technological challenges of the BOND project can only be solved by integrating a multidisciplinary consortium at European level with expertise in areas such as biotechnology, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, electronics and theoretical modelling. The partners involved in the BOND project are experienced partners used to work in large consortia with distributed laboratories all over the European Union and offer competences and resources to build a complementary partnership for the successful implementation of the nanobioplatform. Six of the eight partners have already successfully worked together in the European SPOT-NOSED project to produce a proof of concept of a bioelectronic sensor based on olfactory receptors

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.1 | Award Amount: 10.28M | Year: 2008

Chronic diseases are those that occur across the whole spectrum of illness, mental health problems and injuries. Management includes medication and/or lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. At the same time, it should be noted that chronic diseases may get worse, lead to death, be cured, remain dormant or require continual monitoring. CHRONIOUS primary goal is to define a European framework for a generic health status monitoring platform schema addressing people with chronic health conditions. This will be achieved by developing an intelligent, ubiquitous and adaptive chronic disease platform to be used by both patients and healthcare professionals. CHRONIOUS addresses a smart wearable platform, based on multi-parametric sensor data processing, for monitoring people suffering from chronic diseases in long-stay setting. It is constantly monitoring their activity using audio observation methods and activity sensors while at the same time tracking their medical condition via vital signs sensors. Any trait of abnormal health status and possible alerting incidents are detected by CHRONIOUS Intelligence. The system generates alerts in case of invalid medical data or if current activity and behaviour lay outside the well established activity patterns and locomotion behaviour. Furthermore, CHRONIOUS objective is to face Europes challenge for delivering quality healthcare to all its citizens by offering a ubiquitous and more personalised care solution that addresses the user needs, personal data security, confidentiality and privacy of information and all that at an affordable cost. Our proposed solution will be applied to the chronic diseases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Renal Insufficiency.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2013.7.3.3 | Award Amount: 6.14M | Year: 2013

The objective of the project is to develop methodologies for determining in detail the role of interface boundaries and interface layers on transport properties and reactivity in lithium batteries, and to use the knowledge gained to improve performance. The methods used will be advanced multi-technique in situ characterization combined with computational methods. The findings will be used e.g. in design of artificial Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI) layers, in optimization of morphology and particle-coating in cathode materials and in improving intra particle ionic mobility across buried interfaces. In the project the primary goals are to: 1) Understand the important interfaces in an operating battery on an atomic and molecular scale. 2) Characterize the formation and nature of interfaces in situ. 3) Devise methods to control and design interface formation, stability and properties. 4) Prepare ion-conducting membranes, mimetic of the polymeric part of the SEI, in order to study their mechanical and electrochemical properties.

PubMed | Agricultural University of Athens, Greek National Center For Scientific Research and Uniscan Instruments LTD
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2014

Carbendazim is a fungicide widely used for controlling fungi affecting fruits, vegetables, field crops etc. Determination of carbendazim in water, soil and various crops is frequently required to assure compliance with national/European regulations. A polyclonal antibody recognizing carbendazim was developed by using commercially available 2-(2-aminoethyl) benzimidazole, 2-benzimidazole propionic acid and 2-mercaptobenzimidazole as immunizing haptens; each of the above derivatives was directly conjugated to the carrier protein keyhole limpet hemocyanin and a mixture of the conjugates was administered to New Zealand white rabbits. Immunochemical functionality of the antisera and the corresponding isolated antibody (whole IgG fraction) was evaluated through titer and displacement curves in an in-house developed ELISA, which employed a 2-mercaptobenzimidazole - functionalized lysine-dendrimer as the immobilized hapten. As shown with ELISA-displacement curves, the above antibody could recognize carbendazim as well as other benzimidazole-type fungicides, i.e. benomyl and thiabendazole, and also intact benzimidazole, while it did not cross-react with the structurally different pesticides carbaryl and imazalil. Considering the rather simple approach which has led to its development and its highly promising immunochemical profile, the new antibody may be exploited in immunoanalytical systems for detecting benzimidazole-type pesticides e.g. in samples of environmental interest. The above antibody is being currently tested as a biorecognition element in the novel FOODSCAN cell biosensor platform for pesticide residue detection based on the Bioelectric Recognition Assay technology.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.38M | Year: 2009

The objective of BEEP-C-EN is the integration of innovative biosensor research and technology and their exploitation by industry and/or other socio-economic entities in the fields of environment and agro-industry. The first target application is the detection of pesticides, heavy metal and organic compounds in water. The aim is building up a biosensor modular industrial platform, which can be easily adopted for multi-parameter/multi-sensor design and production. It consists of a series of electrochemical-optical sensors and microsystems suitable for various biomediators (microrganisms, DNA, proteins or cells) and based on new technologies studied and developed by the research performers in the consortium. The transduction approach is suggested by two main biomediator properties, often exploited in biosensor operation in response to analyte or modification of a physical-chemical condition: the variation of the bioluminescence/fluorescence emission and the internal electrical behaviour. These changes when transduced to readable electrical signals can give complementary information: the modification of a current signal is correlated to the electrogenic property of the biomediator (e.g. inhibition of Photosystem II electron transfer in the presence of a pesticide), while a modificaton of fluorescence is often correlated to a conformational modification (e.g. interaction of Photosystem II protein with ionizing radiation). The specific proposed devices are: 1) MultiLights: modular optical transducer for autonomous measurements of bioluminescence/fluorescence of several biomediators assembled in series; 2) MultiAmps: modular electrochemical transducer for measurements of current and voltage variations; 3) MultiTasks: a multitransduction biosensor based on simultaneous and autonomous measurement either of bioluminescence either of current variations.

Pemberton R.M.,University of the West of England | Rawson F.J.,University of the West of England | Xu J.,University of the West of England | Pittson R.,Gwent Electronic Materials Ltd. | And 4 more authors.
Microchimica Acta | Year: 2010

Microband biosensors were fabricated from a screen-printed water-based carbon ink containing cobalt phthalocyanine redox mediator and glucose oxidase or lactate oxidase enzyme. The microbiosensors were characterised for their ability to monitor ferrocyanide and H2O2 in phosphate buffer solution: sigmoidal cyclic voltammograms, high current density values and steady-state amperometric responses confirmed the existence of radial-diffusion-limiting microelectrode behaviour. The lactate microband biosensors were then used, in conjunction with a screen-printed Ag/AgCl reference and platinum counter electrode, to monitor lactate levels in culture medium, with a linear range of 0.5-5 mM, sensitivity of 20 nA.mM-1, and dynamic range up to >9 mM. The lactate microband biosensors could operate continuously in culture medium over extended times (up to 24 h) at 37 °C. These biosensors were then applied to detect changes in lactate release from cultured cells in response to toxic challenge: m-dinitrobenzene (500 μM) caused a reduction in lactate production by high-passage number HepG2 single cells; D-galactosamine (20 mM) induced release of lactate by HepG2 spheroid cultures. This novel use of microband biosensors in cell culture has the potential for further application in toxicity monitoring, in both environmental and pharmaceutical areas. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Pemberton R.M.,University of the West of England | Xu J.,University of the West of England | Pittson R.,Gwent Electronic Materials Ltd. | Drago G.A.,Applied Enzyme Technology Ltd. | And 3 more authors.
Biosensors and Bioelectronics | Year: 2011

Microband biosensors, screen-printed from a water-based carbon ink containing cobalt phthalocyanine redox mediator and glucose oxidase (GOD) enzyme, were used to monitor glucose levels continuously in buffer and culture medium. Five biosensors were operated amperometrically (Eapp of +0.4V), in a 12-well tissue culture plate system at 37°C, using a multipotentiostat. After 24h, a linear calibration plot was obtained from steady-state current responses for glucose concentrations up to 10mM (dynamic range 30mM). Within the linear region, a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.981 was obtained between biosensor and spectrophotometric assays. Over 24h, an estimated 0.15% (89nmol) of the starting glucose concentration (24mM) was consumed by the microbiosensor. The sensitivity of the biosensor response in full culture medium was stable between pHs 7.3 and 8.4.Amperometric responses for HepG2 monolayer cultures decreased with time in inverse proportionality to cell number (for 0 to 106cell/ml), as glucose was being metabolised. HepG2 3D cultures (spheroids) were also shown to metabolise glucose, at a rate which was independent of spheroid age (between 6 and 15 days). Spheroids were used to assay the effect of a typical hepatotoxin, paracetamol. At 1mM paracetamol, glucose uptake was inhibited by 95% after 6h in culture; at 500μM, around 15% inhibition was observed after 16h. This microband biosensor culture system could form the basis for an in vitro toxicity testing system. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Pemberton R.M.,University of the West of England | Cox T.,QinetiQ | Tuffin R.,QinetiQ | Sage I.,QinetiQ | And 11 more authors.
Biosensors and Bioelectronics | Year: 2013

A water-based carbon screen-printing ink formulation, containing the redox mediator cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPC) and the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOx), was investigated for its suitability to fabricate glucose microbiosensors in a 96-well microplate format: (1)the biosensor ink was dip-coated onto a platinum (Pt) wire electrode, leading to satisfactory amperometric performance; (2)the ink was deposited onto the surface of a series of Pt microelectrodes (10-500 μm diameter) fabricated on a silicon substrate using MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) microfabrication techniques: capillary deposition proved to be successful; a Pt microdisc electrode of ≥100 μm was required for optimum biosensor performance; (3)MEMS processing was used to fabricate suitably sized metal (Pt) tracks and pads onto a silicon 96 well format base chip, and the glucose biosensor ink was screen-printed onto these pads to create glucose microbiosensors. When formed into microwells, using a 340 μl volume of buffer, the microbiosensors produced steady-state amperometric responses which showed linearity up to 5. mM glucose (CV=6% for n=5 biosensors). When coated, using an optimised protocol, with collagen in order to aid cell adhesion, the biosensors continued to show satisfactory performance in culture medium (linear range to 2. mM, dynamic range to 7. mM, CV=5.7% for n=4 biosensors). Finally, the operation of these collagen-coated microbiosensors, in 5-well 96-well format microwells, was tested using a 5-channel multipotentiostat. A relationship between amperometric response due to glucose, and cell number in the microwells, was observed. These results indicate that microphotolithography and screen-printing techniques can be combined successfully to produce microbiosensors capable of monitoring glucose metabolism in 96 well format cell cultures. The potential application areas for these microbiosensors are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

PubMed | Gwent Electronic Materials Ltd., Uniscan Instruments Ltd., University of the West of England, Applied Enzyme Technology Ltd. and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) | Year: 2014

This report describes the design and development of an integrated electrochemical cell culture monitoring system, based on enzyme-biosensors and chemical sensors, for monitoring indicators of mammalian cell metabolic status. MEMS technology was used to fabricate a microwell-format silicon platform including a thermometer, onto which chemical sensors (pH, O2) and screen-printed biosensors (glucose, lactate), were grafted/deposited. Microwells were formed over the fabricated sensors to give 5-well sensor strips which were interfaced with a multipotentiostat via a bespoke connector box interface. The operation of each sensor/biosensor type was examined individually, and examples of operating devices in five microwells in parallel, in either potentiometric (pH sensing) or amperometric (glucose biosensing) mode are shown. The performance characteristics of the sensors/biosensors indicate that the system could readily be applied to cell culture/toxicity studies.

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