Conference Proceeding

Detection and Decontamination of Mycotoxins: Nanotechnology Approach

Dr. Alexei Nabok,
Sheffield Hallam University

Professor Alexei Nabok graduated from Shevchenko Kiev State University, Ukraine in 1973, got his PhD from the Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1984. For the last 30 years he works in the field of molecular electronics, thin films, nanostructures, chemical and bio-sensing, the last 20 years at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. The main topic of his recent research is the detection of toxins, particularly mycotoxins. Prof. Nabok is an author of more than 150 publications including books, a member of scientific committees of European Conferences in Organic Films, member of Editorial boards of International Journals.

Detection of toxins, either naturally produced (mycotoxins, microcytin) or human-made (pesticides, herbicides, alkylphenols), is currently one of the hottest topics in biomedical and environmental sciences. Mycotoxins being products of metabolism of numerous fungi species existing in agriculture products (grains, nuts, coffee beans, spices, fruits, etc.) and associated food and feed are well-known by their toxicity, carcinogenic and hormone disrupting properties are of particular concern. Another example of dangerous toxins is microcytin released by certain types of bacterial algae. In addition to existing high-tech analytical methods of HPLC and mass-spectroscopy, the development of low cost, portable, and easy to operate bio-sensors suitable for in-field analysis of toxins is in great demand nowadays. Our recent research sponsored by NATO was dedicated to development of novel optical bio-sensing technologies for detection of typically small toxin molecules. Several approaches were explored in this project, such as novel optical transducing techniques of OWLS, TIRE, polarization interferometry, LSRR, and SERS which require the use of metal nanostructures and waveguides produced by microelectronics technology. In addition to traditional immunosensing approaches based on the use of specific antibodies, we explore more robust artificial receptors such as aptamers. The results are encouraging and may lead to development of a novel range of low cost, portable, though highly sensitive bio-sensors capable of detection of toxins in ppt concentrations in both liquid and gaseous media. Another important problem of decontamination of substances containing toxins was addressed using micro particles functionalized with specific antibodies and therefore acting as effective adsorbent for toxins.

Published: 27 April 2017