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Anal Chem. 2009 Nov 1;81(21):9055-64. doi: 10.1021/ac901714h.

Reagentless bidirectional lateral flow bioactive paper sensors for detection of pesticides in beverage and food samples.

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Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1.


A reagentless bioactive paper-based solid-phase biosensor was developed for detection of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, including organophosphate pesticides. The assay strip is composed of a paper support (1 x 10 cm), onto which AChE and a chromogenic substrate, indophenyl acetate (IPA), were entrapped using biocompatible sol-gel derived silica inks in two different zones (e.g., sensing and substrate zones). The assay protocol involves first introducing the sample to the sensing zone via lateral flow of a pesticide-containing solution. Following an incubation period, the opposite end of the paper support is placed into distilled deionized water (ddH(2)O) to allow lateral flow in the opposite direction to move paper-bound IPA to the sensing area to initiate enzyme catalyzed hydrolysis of the substrate, causing a yellow-to-blue color change. The modified sensor is able to detect pesticides without the use of any external reagents with excellent detection limits (bendiocarb approximately 1 nM; carbaryl approximately 10 nM; paraoxon approximately 1 nM; malathion approximately 10 nM) and rapid response times (approximately 5 min). The sensor strip showed negligible matrix effects in detection of pesticides in spiked milk and apple juice samples. Bioactive paper-based assays on pesticide residues collected from food samples showed good agreement with a conventional mass spectrometric assay method. The bioactive paper assay should, therefore, be suitable for rapid screening of trace levels of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides in environmental and food samples.

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