Biosensor design and prototyping



Biosensor design and prototyping


Maria Teresa Giardi
Giuseppina Rea
Francesca Vergari
Arianna Tibuzzi*
Viviana Scognamiglio*
Amina Antonacci*
Paola Romagnoli*
Irene Rambaldi*
Giuseppe Rodio*
Ivan Husu*
Davide Raffi*
Daniela Giannini*
Gianni Pezzotti*
Ittalo Pezzotti*
Juan Bernardo Cano*
Mark Gahel*


biosensor, fluorescence detection, amperometric detection, screen printed electrode, multidetection system, fluidic, pollutant


National Institute for Biological Sciences, Romania (; University of Perpignan, France (; Cranfield University, UK (; University of Rome Tor Vergata (; CNR-IBP Napoli (; University of Udine (; Fondazione Bruno Kessler (;National Institute for Public Health and the Environment-RIVM, Netherlands (; National Technical University Athens-NTUA (; Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-CSIC, Spain (; Ruhr-Universität Bochum (; National Health Institute-ISS (; ISPRA (; Nanosens, Netherland (; DropSens S.L., Spain (; Uniscan Instruments Ltd, UK (; EADS Deutschland GmbH, Germany (; Vitens, Netherlands (; Centro Laser (; Orto-Sole Scarl (; Biosensor Srl (


Biosensors are devices integrating a biologic material, working as receptor and sensing element, with a transducer that converts the biochemical signal into an easily readable output signal. According to the biomediator used and the observed property, the detection mechanism changes. In our group we work with optical and electrochemical biosensors: in the former we measure the fluorescence intensity emitted after light excitation of the biomaterial; in the latter we measure the amperometric current correlated to the electron transfer occurring after a biochemical reaction (e.g. enzymatic) or a physico-chemical stimulus (e.g. pesticide).
Our interdisciplinary group boasts expertise in immobilization methods and prototype engineering of small size automatic instruments, in collaboration with some high tech EU SMEs.
As regards immobilization techniques, we embed the photosynthetic bioreceptors in bovine serum albumin and glutaraldeyde by chemical cross-linking or use alginate microencapsulation. Recently we have started to successfully test an innovative method for hybrid deposition, the Laser-Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) process. Physical deposition by casting is conducted with alginate and nafion (for laccase and tyrosinase enzyme biomediators).
We use different screen printed electrodes, indium tin oxide(ITO)-coated glasses, microelectrode arrays (MEA) and silicon nanowires for electrochemical measurements. LEDs and photodiodes supported by optic fibers are used as light excitation source and fluorescence/bioluminescence capture, respectively.
We design and fabricate complex miniature measurement cells to lodge the biomaterial and interface it with the needed reagent/light/transducer, by adopting a modular configuration and an automatic fluidic architecture. The systems we develop are fully integrated and adopt a platform technology philosophy to provide one instrument for a wide range of combined measurements and biomediators.
Our biosensor research applies to several fields: environmental monitoring (pesticides, endocrine disruptive chemicals), agrofood analysis (pesticide residues, antioxidant power, phenols), biotech industrial process control (algal biomass growth in photobioreactors), space biology (ionizing radiation effects).

References :

- V Scognamiglio, G Pezzotti, I Pezzotti, J Cano, K Buonasera, D Giannini and MT Giardi, Microchimica Acta DOI 10.1007/s00604-010-0313-5 (in press).
-K Buonasera, G Pezzotti, V Scognamiglio, A Tibuzzi and MT Giardi. New Platform of Biosensors for Prescreening of Pesticide Residues To Support Laboratory Analyses Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58 (2010), 5982-5990.
- M.T. Giardi, V. Scognamiglio, G. Rea, G. Rodio, A. Antonacci, M. Lambreva, G. Pezzotti, U. Johanningmeier, Optical biosensors for environmental monitoring based on computational and biotechnological tools for engineering the photosynthetic D1 protein of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Biosensors and Bioelectronics 25 (2009) 294-300.
- V. Scognamiglio, D. Raffi, A. Antonacci, M. Lambreva, G. Rea, A. Tibuzzi, G. Pezzotti, U. Johanningmeier, M.T. Giardi, "Chlamydomonas reinhardtii genetic variants as probes for fluorescence multi-biomediator sensing system in pollutants detection", Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2009, 394(4), 1081-1087.
- G. Rea; D. Esposito; M. Damasso; A. Serafini; A. Margonelli; C. Faraloni; Giuseppe Torzillo; A. Zanini; I. Bertalan; U. Johanningmeier; M.T. Giardi, Ionizing radiation impacts photochemical quantum yield and oxygen evolution activity of Photosystem II in photosynthetic microorganisms, International Journal of Radiation Biology,84:11, (2008) 867 - 877.
- A. Tibuzzi, G. Rea, G. Pezzotti, D. Esposito, U. Johanningmeier, M.T. Giardi, "A new miniaturized multiarray biosensor system for fluorescence detection", Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 19 (2007) 395006.
- M.T. Giardi and E. Pace, Photosynthetic proteins for technological applications. Trends in Biotechnology, 25 (2005), 253-267.
- P. Euzet, M.T. Giardi, R Rouillon, Analytica Chimica Acta Analytica Chimica Acta, 539 (2005), 263-269.


Biosensor design and prototyping - IMG



Viviana Scognamiglio
Tel.: +390690672704


Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:04)