Analytical Chemistry

Advanced Solid State Nano-electrochemical Sensors and System for Agri 4.0 Applications


Global food production needs to increase in order to meet the demands of an ever growing population. As resources are finite, the most feasible way to meet this demand is to minimize losses and improving efficiency. Regular monitoring of factors like animal health, soil and water quality for example, can ensure that the resources are being used to their maximum efficiency. Existing monitoring techniques however have limitations, such as portability, turnaround time and requirement for additional reagents. In this work, we explore the use of micro and nano scale electrode devices, for the development of electrochemical sensing platform to digitalize a wide range of applications within the Agri-food sector. With this platform, we demonstrate the direct electrochemical detection of pesticides, specifically clothianidin and imidacloprid with detection limits of 0.22 ng/mL and 2.14 ng/mL respectively, and nitrates with a detection limit of 0.2 µM. In addition, interdigitated electrode structures also enable an in-situ pH control technique to mitigate pH as an interference and modify analyte response. This technique is applied to the analysis of monochloramine, a common water disinfectant. Concerning biosensing, the sensors are modified with biomolecular probes for the detection of both bovine viral diarrhea virus particles and antibodies, over a range of 1 ng/mL to 10 µg/mL. Finally, a portable analogue front end electronic reader is developed to allow portable sensing, with control and readout undertaken using a smart phone application. Finally, the sensor chip platform is integrated with these electronics to provide a fully functional end-to-end smart sensor system compatible with emerging AgriFood digital decision support tools.


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