The use of hormonal substances for growth promotion is prohibited (Directive 85/649/EEC replaced by Directive 88/146/EEC) and the determination of residues thereof is scheduled in animals and in fresh meat (Directive 86/849/EEC). A through screening program would allow regulatory bodies to continuously monitor animals prior to slaughter and thus identify animals with enhanced levels of hormone residues for detailed analysis of biological fluids. Current screening does not lend itself to such a thorough process due to the inherent cost involved (e.g. ~ 25 euros per sample), the non in situ nature of the analysis technique employed as well as the time lag involved (typically 24-36 hours). Such sensors would allow widespread screening of animals and animal products before entry into the human food chain thus facilitating the implementation of EU directives on consumer protection in a cost-effective (typically 0,5-1,0 euros per sample), rapid (less than 30 minutes), specific and sensitive.
The objectives of this project are:
- the development of individual sensitive and specific biosensors for testosterone, methyltestosterone, 19-nortestosterone, stanozolol and trenbolone;
- the development of a receptor-based sensor that will bind testosterone and other metabolites of testosterone;
- the development of a multi-analyte immunosensor capable of detection of residues of a number of testosterone derivatives simultaneously in the same sample;
- development of pre-production prototype that can be used for cost-effective in field measurements;
- establishment of background levels of testosterone in bovine blood;
- validation and application of developed sensors to real samples;
- evaluation of potential commercial application.
Production of recognition molecules; biosensor development; production samples, establishing the background levels of testosterone; solution of sample matrix effects; development of a prototype biosensor and associated instrumentation; evaluation and validation of developed biosensors; Evaluation of commercial potential and exploitation.