Contributions to Science, Vol 6, No 2 (2010)

Electrochemical biosensors for food safety

M. Isabel Pividori, Salvador Alegret


The convergence of new technologies, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology, has opened new horizons in electrochemical biosensors. The integration of micro- and nanostructured materials within biosensing devices (graphite microparticles, bioreceptors, gold nanoparticles, and magnetic micro- or nanoparticles) has provided excellent analytical performances in the detection of food residues (pesticides, antibiotics), food additives (folic acid) and allergens (gliadin), and food-borne pathogens. One of the key contributions in the electrochemical biosensing field relies on the design of novel transducers, not only with enhanced transducing features but also with improved immobilization of biomolecules while preserving their biological activity. The integration of magnetic particles provides further improvements in the detection of food residues in a complex matrix, achieving better electrochemical response due to the increased size of the transducing active area. Electrochemical immunosensors and genosensors systems recently developed in our laboratories are described in this contribution. These sensitive, hand-held, user-friendly devices provide new analytical approaches for the in-field detection of food contaminants, mainly food residues and pathogens.

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ISSN: 2013-410X (electronic edition); 1575-6343 (print edition)