RP3: Electrochemical / Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) for detection of pesticides (ESR3-TYN)
The European Union (EU) has identified a list of new contaminants that needs to be monitored owing to their toxicity to human and/or aquatic fauna. Amongst these contaminants are neonicotinoids pesticides such as imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiacloprid. These pesticides are routinely administered throughout the world to maximise crop yields and protect agricultural products. Unfortunately, alarms have been recently raised about the negative effects of these pesticides on the bees’ activities, and there is strong suspicion of adverse health effects on human. The current established detection methods of these toxic chemicals are based solid phase extraction / HPLC- or GC- mass spectrometry. These techniques require samples to be sent to dedicated analytical laboratories, meaning a real-time monitoring is impossible. Also, these techniques have to be carried out by trained operators on high end equipment, resulting in a costly process. To address this challenge, this project will develop an innovative platform based on a combination of two promising technologies that have recently shown great promise towards detection of pesticides, namely electrochemical (cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry) and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The combination of these two technologies will provide label-free, real-time, sensitive and selective detection of the targeted contaminants.
PI (supervisor) Name
Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork