Plasmore S.r.l., (located in Pavia in Italy) designed a patented nanoplasmonic technology which enables the development of portable nanopatterned multiplexing iSPR systems. This patented nano SPR sensor has several specific features such as; no need for coupling prisms and simplicity of optical detection design and separated and then non interfering fluidics and optical detection.
The sensing SPR surface is nano-engineered in order to control and tune the position and extension of the sensitivity region and boost the SPR sensitivity for the detection of both large molecules such as proteins and small low molecular weight analytes (i.e., having the features of both conventional SPR and LSPR);
The colloidal lithographic nanofabrication technology enables low-cost production of large nanostructured areas, with fabrication costs comparable to conventional SPR chips;
Imaging capability allows for an easy way of referencing the signal using non-exciting conditions from non-interacting areas to correct for fluctuations or drift caused by extraneous phenomenons (e.g. temperature variations or instabilities of the light source) and thus boost signal-to-noise further and improve the overall stability and ruggedness of the biosensing.
It was envisaged that this design is capable to provide a >10-fold improvement in sensitivity, >10-fold reduction in iSPR instrument size and weight, and a >10-fold reduction in costs as compared to conventional state-of-the-art iSPR and all of these were fulfilled.
RIKILT Wageningen UR (Wageningen, the Netherlands) has extensive experience in developing immunochemical tests based on conventional commercial SPR and iSPR systems for the rapid screening of environmental contaminants and drug residues, toxins, allergens and fraud in food.
Direct biosensor immunoassays, with antibody-coated biosensor chips, were developed for some drug residues and allergens and for most low molecular weight compounds, the indirect inhibition immunoassay format, using chips coated with analyte conjugates, were used. Poly- and/or monoclonal antibodies against such food contaminants are available in-house or to be sourced via international contacts. Many of these antibodies from RIKILT were used during the project.
Schafer-N (Copenhagen, Denmark) has long experience in providing customers, including a wide range of pharmaceutical industries and research laboratories around the world, with high-quality custom peptides. This SME has recently developed a unique ultra-high-density peptide microarray technology that allows for synthesis of over 2 million peptide fields on a 12 x 22 mm surface. A growing number of companies offer peptide microarrays, but to our knowledge none of them have reached the high-density of Schafer-N’s peptide microarrays. The Schafer-N peptide arrays have been made on plain glass and gold-coated surfaces and tested to perform extremely well in iSPR applications.
Schafer-N significantly contributed to the project by providing its unique technology for the fabrication of high-density peptides microarrays on nanostructured surfaces which were used for the identification of target ligands (epitope mapping) of food allergens, and the development of a robust protein (allergen) detection iSPR unit.