Image credit: prilfish on Flickr
(CC BY 2.0)

New portable sensor and biosensor platforms have been developed by researchers at the Superior Institute of Engineering of Porto (ISEP), allowing detection of emerging contaminants, such as antibiotics; hormones; antidepressants; and anti-inflammatory drugs in water or fish.

The platforms are being developed as part of the CECs (Bio)Sensing project . 'It is urgent to control the quality and safety of fishery products,' one of the researchers in the project explains, as bioaccumulation of contaminants by aquatic organisms is increasingly 'a threat to public health.'

'The common medications that we use in our day-to-day and that are excreted through the urine end up contaminating rivers and seas, without being controlled by methods or technologies to eliminate them', says the institute.

Simone Morais, the project's lead researcher, points out that there are 'no routine analysis methods for most compounds,' as the methodologies are 'very expensive.'

'This project offers high socio-economic and environmental benefits. The fast and reliable resultd, coming from the platforms, support key decisions regarding the management of fish products, resulting in greener and more efficient production processes,' she adds.

The CECs (Bio)Sensing project started in July, 2018, and should be completed by July 2022. ISEP believes the knowledge acquired in this project could be applied to other food sectors too.

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Federal University of Ceará have partnered with the project. It is also co-financed by the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI) and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

For more information about ISEP visit their website, HERE.

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