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Technology Transfer and Industry News

Monday, 28 October 2019

An ICN2 graphene-based screening device is being showcased at the Graphene Marketplace hosted by Tetra Pak

Dr Ruslan Álvarez, from the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group, and Dr Cinzia Spinato, from the ICN2 Business and Innovation Office, are participating in the Marketplace being held at Modena by Tetra Pak and the Graphene Flagship. They are presenting an intuitive, eco-friendly, portable sensing system to screen for different compounds found in food and environmental samples.

Tetra Pak is the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company and associate member of the Graphene Flagship. It is hosting in Modena this years’ Graphene Marketplace event showcasing cutting-edge research and development ongoing throughout the Graphene Flagship. The programme includes a public lecture with Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov and a unique opportunity to view the latest graphene products and prototypes.

The ICN2 is bringing to the event a screening device with a smartphone readout, presented by Dr Ruslan Álvarez, Postdoctoral Researcher at the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group, and Dr Cinzia Spinato, Business Development officer at the ICN2 Business and Innovation Office and the Graphene Flagship. The technology is an intuitive, eco-friendly, portable sensing system to screen for different compounds found in food and environmental samples. It takes advantage of the quenching capabilities of Graphene quantum dots towards certain compounds. The smartphone camera captures the light emitted by each Quantum Dot and offers a quantitative reading in real time.

The device can be used as a screening tool to measure the quality of wine and to detect phenols and polyphenols in environmental and food samples, respectively. So far the system has been used to identify the age of vintage wines based on their phenolic content and to screen for toxic contaminants in food and water samples. However, by customizing the Quantum Dots with specific receptors, other substrates and thus applications are possible.