Mycotoxins represent a significant health risk for humans and animals and cause considerable financial losses for food processing companies. According to estimates, 25% of all food products are contaminated with toxic products of molds. Within the MykoNANO project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen, in collaboration with the company GeneCon International GmbH and the Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-8) at Research Center Juelich, is developing an innovative rapid test for the detection of various mycotoxins in grain and milk products.
This rapid test is based on magnetic immunodetection, at which monoclonal antibodies are bound to magnetic nanoparticles and thus can specifically bind to the toxins. Using a multiplex approach, a large number of toxins can be trapped within a sample. Magnetic separation of the nanoparticles out of the sample enables concentration of the mycotoxin-nanoparticle-complexes and a subsequent high sensitive detection by a portable reader. With a newly developed smartphone app, the user is guided through sample processing and the resulting data are documented and saved. This enables a quick and in-place clarification if the food product is free from contaminations.
GeneCon International GmbH
Institute of Complex Systems, Bioelektronik (ICS-8), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
This project is funded by the European Union and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.