The molecule works as a light indicator and emits higher or lower intensity fluorescent light depending on the amount of citric acid present in the sample. In other words, the less citric acid there is present, the less light will be produced, and vice versa. One of the main advantages of the newly designed sensor is its high sensitivity, which allows one citric acid molecule to be detected among millions of water molecules through fluorescence. The systems used today to optically analyse citric acid (the most important being the citrate lyase enzymatic method) are between one hundred and one thousand times less sensitive.
Another advantage of the sensor patented by the UJI is its increased fluorescence intensity. “With the complexes developed it is possible to achieve gains of up to 1500% in fluorescence intensity in the presence of citrate. This implies multiplying the signal by a factor of 15, which results in very reliable measurements,” explains Francisco Galindo, co-author of the research study.
Furthermore, the molecules designed react with the sample immediately, while in the case of the traditional citrate lyase enzyme method it is necessary to wait up to 30 minutes to obtain the results. “This advantage in the data acquisition speed can be very important when it comes to developing automatic real-time measurement systems, such as those required in food quality control to detect possible defects in the manufacturing quality of a given product, or in urgent medical urine or blood tests for the rapid diagnosis of diseases associated with the presence of citric acid,” the researchers point out.
In fact, the food and pharmaceutical sectors are the main targets of the applications offered by the new fluorescent sensor developed at the UJI. Citric acid is an important component in numerous pharmaceutical preparations, foods, drinks and various industrial products. For example, in the food industry it is important to know the amount of citric acid that is present in products derived from fruits such as oranges or lemons.
In the pharmaceutical industry, citric acid is used as a stabiliser in various formulations, as a drug component and as an anticoagulant in blood for transfusions.
In the medical domain, the new fluorescent sensor can be useful to determine pathological levels of citric acid, that is, it would potentially serve as a tool for diagnosing disease. “The relationship between low citric acid concentrations and cancer processes, such as that of prostate tumours, is well known. The relationship between the absence of citric acid in urine and the likelihood of developing kidney stones is also well known,” the researchers at the UJI explain. Up till now, citric acid has generally been determined by nuclear magnetic resonance in the case of prostate cancer or by the citrate lyase method in the case of kidney stones.
The research was conducted by the researchers Francisco Galindo, Santiago V. Luis, María Isabel Burguete and Laura Vigara, from the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry at the UJI.
Hugo Cerdà | alfa
Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy