Biomimetic sensors as new generation of biotechnological devices for food safety and quality monitoring (BIOMIMIC)
The research will focus on the development of a new generation of biomimetic sensors for food safety and quality monitoring. The approach of the project will be oriented to test the performances of enzymes or antibodies versus new computationally-designed biomimetic ligands which work by mimicking the biological binding site. The performances of new computationally-designed biomimetic ligands mimicking the biological binding site will be tested in order to overcome disadvantages of biological materials (unstable, expensive to produce) and to match the continuous trend to reduce the use of animals for the production of biological reagents. These new ligands will be coupled with different transducers used in sensors technology known to give fast, reproducible and sensible analytical responses often in real time. This approach is promising to produce inexpensive biotechnological devices to be used in food safety and quality monitoring by combining the selectivity of biomimetic ligands with abiotic properties such as greater stability in harsh environments, with the powerful properties of biosensing techniques. All important analytical parameters i.e. reproducibility, sensitivity, selectivity, stability, etc, will be studied. first using standards and, after optimization of the protocol, on real samples. As model, typical food target will be used such as xenobiotics. The final objective will be the manufacturing of a complete biotechnological transduction apparatus for sensor control and data elaboration.