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Automated water analyser computer supported system (AWACSS)

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Innovative immunosensor technology

The effective combination of recent advancements in immunochemistry and biosensor technology resulted in a breakthrough involving an integrated optical fluoroimmunoassay array chip displaying high sensitivity.

Climate Change and Environment

The new immunosensor technology is an integrated optical waveguide array chip that illuminates 32 micrometre size windows for simultaneous fluorescence-based immunoassay detection. This instrument is capable of screening fairly low numbers of compounds in very low concentrations and is aimed for environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics and biotechnology applications. More specifically, a semiconductor laser diode introduces light at the surface of a glass chip, where optical wave-guides are found. At the sensing sites, the wave-guides offer efficient excitation of surface fluorescence with the aid of evanescent fields. Light is conducted in an integrated optical circuit to the 32 sites, where a chemically modified surface offers increased specificity to a particular analyte. The key innovation with this equipment relies on the wave-guide design that allows highly sensitive measurements. Instrumentation is low-cost, reliable, robust, fast, user friendly and it is expected to result to even lower detection limit through improvement of stability. Apart from fluorescence-based measurements, such chips may also be applied to other surface scattering or luminescence techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy. The chip size is around 15mmx68mm and prototype products are currently under testing. The technology is offered to manufacturers and researchers, who are interested in the analysis of small quantities of analyte for multiple compounds with low detection limit. For further information, click at the project site at: http://barolo.ipc.uni-tuebingen.de/awacss/

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