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Sensor to Monitor Levels of Widely Used Antibiotic in Water and Food

The device, which combines magnetic fluorescent nanoparticles, can help detect metronidazole in organisms

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

FAPESP ( is a public foundation, funded by the taxpayer in the State of São Paulo, with the mission to support research projects in higher education and research institutions, in...

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Researchers at the Center for Development of Functional Materials (CDMF) describe in the Journal of Molecular Liquids the development of a sensor that detects metronidazole in organisms and the environment. Metronidazole is an antibiotic used in human and veterinary medicine. Accumulation of this drug in the body can result in various health problems, and levels in blood, water, meat, and milk, among others, need to be monitored.

The sensor combined magnetic fluorescent multi-functional molecularly imprinted polymers (MFMIP) with a non-imprinted reference composite. Tests on water samples showed good sensitivity and practical advantages such as the possibility of real-time analysis and ease of handling.

CDMF is one of FAPESP’s Research, Innovation and Diffusion Centers (RIDCs) and is hosted by the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar).

The first and last authors of the article are Laís Mendes Alvarenga and Luciano Sindra Virtuoso. The other co-authors are Cristiane dos Reis Feliciano, Bruno Giordano Alvarenga, Hauster Maximiler Campos de Paula, Yara Luiza Coelho, Luís Henrique Mendes da Silva, Luiz Fernando Gorup, and Mariane Gonçalves Santos.

- This press release was originally published on the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo website