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Posted: Nov 02, 2010
ARROWS project to develop a microengineered platform for food analysis
(Nanowerk News) The goal of the ARROWS project is to develop a microengineered platform for the analysis of 'real-world' samples from the food, drink and healthcare industries.
The principle deliverable will be a chip-scale capillary electrophoresis/liquid chromatography mass spectrometer (CE/LC-MS) that matches the performance of today's mainframe systems.
Our vision is to offer users from the food, environmental and clinical sectors 'more for less' by delivering the functionality of a laboratory-scale, high-end CE/LC-MS system, which today is the size of a filing cabinet, in a mass-deployable tool the size of a desktop PC.
Initially, ARROWS will focus on two applications:
(a) detection of cancer biomarkers in fractional spots found on tissue, and
(b) screening of imported food for contamination.
End-users Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and DEFRA will evaluate the platform.
ARROWS utilizes the consortium's 'best-in-class' capabilities to exploit the scaling laws associated with microfluidics, chip-based chromatography and electrophoresis and microengineered advanced mass spectrometry to minimise analysis time, sample volume and reduce manufacturing costs. These scaling laws address the cross-cutting issue of sustainability by reducing solvent consumption, waste and power consumption by orders of magnitude.
Next-generation micro-analytical devices from Tyndall, Microsaic, VTT and CSEM will be combined into powerful, multi-sensing tools capable of identifying trace quantities of the chemical species of interest (e.g. pesticides, disease biomarkers) in complex biological matrices such as tissue, food and drinking water. Microsaic Systems will develop a MS based on patented ionchip technology.