This Project aims at the development of biosensors for detection of endocrine disruptor 17-a-ethinylestradiol in aquaculture. The 17-a-ethinylestradiol is a synthetic estrogen hormone and major constituent of birth control pills sold in Brazil. Its uncontrolled release in environment is often associated with changes in the endocrine system of fish and aquatic animals which have enduring contact with the hormone. The purpose is to develop a system that can detect this hormone with precision and at low cost. The sensor units will consist of enzyme or antibody immobilized on polyelectrolyte films or modified interdigitated electrodes coated with gold, using self-assembly layer-by-layer (LbL) and SAM techniques, respectively. The nanostructured films will be fabricated with different architectures in order to match synergy between the components of the film and the analytes. The nanostructured films growth will be monitored with various experimental techniques, including UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopies, FTIR spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) which will also serve to characterize the film properties. The detection will be carried out by using electrochemical techniques, e.g., cyclic voltammetry, squarewave voltammetry and amperometry in standard solutions and, subsequently, in real samples. We also intend to employ the concept of global selectivity of the electronic tongue along with the concept of biosensors in real water samples. As a large amount of data is expected from sensor data collection, information visualization methods will be used in the analysis, in order to optimize the sensitivity and selectivity of biosensors.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: