The benefits of the proposed Concerted Action are:
- Scientific, as it will expose and expand theoretical scientific knowledge and advanced applied science.
- Economics. Industry will benefit, it can commercialise and capitalize on European science and technology.
- In training and mobility. The proposed Action has the task of a close contact and collaboration between European scientists.
- Health and environmental. The biosensing devices will have an impact on environmental protection and improvement of the quality of life.
The major objective of the proposed concerted action is targeted to the development of novel improved biosensors for the direct sensing of environmental pollutants, evaluation/ validation of these devices and massive production and commercialization. Stimulating and constructive discussions during the planned workshops with free flow of creative ideas between participating scientists and experimental work during the exchange visits will lead to the designing and manufacturing of rapid (near real-time), low cost devices for in situ monitoring of contaminants.
The use of diverse biological recognition element, alternative operating formats, and innovative signal transducers will serve as the basis for a laboratory prototype device. Workshops will direct research to be focused on artificial or imprinted membranes and those based on host-guest interactions, DNA based biosensors, preparation of antibodies and development of immunosensors for flow monitoring of herbicides, preparation of new biopolymers for detection of gas pollutants, development of novel transducers for detection in the gas-phase, preparation of novel receptors to detect pollutants, novel detection schemes for e.g. toxic metals and agrochemicals in waste streams and marine, microbe-based biosensors for toxicity and mutagenicity and organic-phase based biosensors for the determination of environmental pollutants. Studies will provide a means of transducing a quantitative signal in a molecular sensor and a tool to construct simple, fast responding, small-sized and reliable devices at low cost alternative to other analytical instruments for direct monitoring or screening applications in the field. As an integral part of the proposed action microfabrication of devices and supporting electronics, hardware and software components will be developed. It is likely that with appropriate development, testing and commercialization, the resulting biosensing devices can have a significant impact on reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of environmental monitoring applications and allow real-time feed-back control and treatment of environmental risks.