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Proceedings Paper

Drugs and precursor sensing by complementing low cost multiple techniques: overview of the European FP7 project CUSTOM
Author(s): Alberto Secchi; Anna Maria Fiorello; Massimiliano Dispenza; Sabato D'Auria; Antonio Varriale; Alessandro Ulrici; Renato Seeber; Juho Uotila; Vincenzo Venditto; Paolo Ciambelli; Juan Carlos Antolín; Francesco Colao; Tom Kuusela; Ilkka Tittonen; Päivi Sievilä; Grégory Maisons
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Paper Abstract

A large number of techniques for drug precursors chemical sensing has been developed in the latest decades. These techniques are able to screen and identify specific molecules even at very low concentration in lab environment, nevertheless the objective to build up a system which proves to be easy to use, compact, able to provide screening over a large number of compounds and discriminate them with low false alarm rate (FA) and high probability of detection (POD) is still an open issue. The project CUSTOM, funded by the European Commission within the FP7, deals with stand alone portable sensing apparatus based on multiple techniques, integrated in a complex system with a complimentary approach. The objective of the project is to achieve an optimum trade-off between opposite requirements: compactness, simplicity, low cost, sensitivity, low false alarm rate and selectivity. The final goal is the realization of an optical sensing platform able to detect traces of drug precursors compounds, such as ephedrine, safrole, acetic anhydride and the Benzyl Methyl Keton (BMK). This is reached by implementing two main sensing techniques: the fluorescence enhanced by the use of specially developed Organic macro-molecules, and a spectroscopic technique in Mid-IR optical range. The fluorescence is highly selectivewith respect to the target compounds, because it is based on properly engineered fluorescent proteins which are able to bind the target analytes, as it happens in an 'immune-type' reaction. The spectroscopic technique is based on the Photo-Acoustic effect, enhanced by the use of a widely Tunable Quantum Cascade Laser. Finally, the sensing platform is equipped with an air sampling system including a pre-concentrator module based on a sorption desorption cycles of a syndiotactic polystyrene polymer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8545, Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX, 85450G (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.973756
Show Author Affiliations
Alberto Secchi, SELEX Sistemi Integrati S.p.A. (Italy)
Anna Maria Fiorello, SELEX Sistemi Integrati S.p.A. (Italy)
Massimiliano Dispenza, SELEX Sistemi Integrati S.p.A. (Italy)
Sabato D'Auria, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
Antonio Varriale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
Alessandro Ulrici, Univ. degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy)
Renato Seeber, Univ. degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy)
Juho Uotila, Gasera Ltd. (Finland)
Vincenzo Venditto, Univ. degli Studi di Salerno (Italy)
Paolo Ciambelli, Univ. degli studi di Salerno (Italy)
Juan Carlos Antolín, TECNALIA Research & Innovation (Spain)
Francesco Colao, ENEA (Italy)
Tom Kuusela, Univ. of Turku (Finland)
Ilkka Tittonen, Aalto Univ. (Finland)
Päivi Sievilä, Aalto Univ. (Finland)
Grégory Maisons, Alcatel-Thales III-V Lab. (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8545:
Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology IX
Roberto Zamboni; François Kajzar; Attila A. Szep, Editor(s)

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