What's New :
Researchers develop reusable, paper-based lycopene sensors
- A team of researchers at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, has developed a nano-biosensor for detecting ‘lycopene’.
About the Discovery:
- The researchers from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, have developed a nano-biosensor for detecting ‘lycopene’.
- The biosensor (transparent strip) offers minimal scattering with maximum sensitivity in comparison to previous paper strips.
- The sensor uses a portable smartphone-based upconverting reusable fluorescent paper strip.
- A simple smartphone camera can be used for detection.
- The reusable, paper-based strip may help make the lycopene detection process easy, cheap, and less time-consuming.
- The study has been published by the American Chemical Society.
Issues with present analytical methods:
- A commercial sensor is used for determining the percentage. The process is expensive and time-consuming.
Upconversion Nanoparticles (UCNP):
- Upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) are nanoscale particles (diameter 1–100 nm) that exhibit photon upconversion.
- Upconversion is a process where light can be emitted with photon energies higher than the light generating the excitation.
- In photon upconversion, two or more incident photons of relatively low energy are absorbed and converted into one emitted photon with higher energy.
- This transparent Upconversion nanoparticle (UCNP) strip is sensitive to lycopene with a detection limit as low as 10 nM.
How does it work?
- An increase in strip hydrophobicity during the fabrication process complements the strip to selectively permeate and present an extraction-free substitute analysis for chromatography.
- Hydrophobicity endows the strip with the capability to reuse the strip with approximately 100 percent luminescence recovery.
What is lycopene?
- Lycopene is a type of organic pigment called a carotenoid.
- It is synthesized by plants and microorganisms but cannot be synthesized by the human body and can only be obtained via diet.
- It gives some vegetables and fruits (e.g., tomatoes) a red color.
- Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that might help protect cells from damage. It's found in tomato, watermelon, red-orange, pink grapefruit, apricot, papaya, and guava.
- It is a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
- It may interfere with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer patients are therefore suggested to use lycopene supplements with caution.
Effect of degradation of Lycopene on Tomato:
- The undesirable Biodegradation of lycopene not only affects the attractive color of the final products but also their nutritive value.
- The main cause of lycopene degradation in tomato dehydration is isomerization and oxidation.
- As a result, the quality of the produce is rated based on the lycopene present in it and is priced accordingly.
Methods to determine lycopene in food or biological samples:
- UV-Visible spectrophotometry
- Liquid chromatography
- Reverse-phase liquid chromatography
- Supercritical fluid chromatography
- Matrix-assisted desorption ionization
Verifying, please be patient.