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Development of novel monitoring devices to detect microbial contaminants in foods during processing and storage


This project sets out to develop a novel prototype acoustic biosensor for use in the detection of microbial pathogens and spoilage organisms in food.
Research has been carried out in order to exploit the aspect of immunological specificity coupled to acoustic based transducer technology for the detection of spoilage/pathogenic microorganisms in food.

The work has involved:
the nucleotide sequence determination of a ferric siderophore receptor protein from Pseudomonas strain M114 domain analysis of the receptor protein to identify surface exposed regions and to generate antibodies directed agaisnt such regions;
analysis of the adsorption of radiolabelled immunoglobulin G (IgG) to silver and lithium niobate surfaces;
fabrication, electrical characterization and analysis of the performance of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices in liquid environments;
design and construction of SAW devices;
assessment of the specificity of developed antibodies.
Biotechnology and microelectronics are brought together in this pre-competitive project. The project is concerned with:

1. Identification of novel surface antigens for the detection of particular strains/species of bacteria;

2. Development of poly- and monoclonal antibodies to these surface antigens;

3. Evaluation of these developed antibodies with regard to species/strain specificity;

4. Acoustic wave transducer design for biosensor applications;

5. Modelling of surface acoustic wave (SAW) transducer devices;

6. Definition, development and optimisation of an acoustic transducer fabrication process;

7. Development of interfacial chemistries to covalently attach antibodies to the transducer surface;

8. Comparison of the newly developed prototype acoustic biosensor with the available technologies for the detection of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria in food.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


National University of Ireland, Cork
Western Road
30 Cork

Participants (2)

Quality Assurance Laboratory
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
Tennis Court Road
CB2 1QT Cambridge