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    This research reports a portable immunochip, based on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) for label-free, low-cost qualitative detection of zearalenone (ZEN) in food samples. The experimental parameters in the functionalization and working process were evaluated in detail, in order to achieve a high accuracy and sensitivity. Under optimal conditions, the ZEN concentration at an inhibition ratio of 50% and 15% of the proposed QCM immunochip achieved 3.41 µg L-1 and 0.37 µg L-1, respectively. This portable QCM immunochip also exhibited high specificity, no obvious cross-reaction to five structural analogs of ZEN, and showed other mycotoxins. It could finish the whole qualitative measurement within 30 min, showed good stability during the processes of preparation (SD < 5%, n = 9), storage (frequency response >90%, in PBS at 4 °C for 15 days), and application (frequency response >90% after being reused 6 times). The developed QCM immunochip obtained accurate and repeatable recovery results in ZEN analysis in the chosen food samples (corn, wheat flour, soy sauce, and milk), which had a high correlation (R2 = 0.9844) with that achieved by the HPLC-MS/MS method. In short, this work developed a portable, stable, and reproducible QCM immunochip that could be used for rapid, low-cost, and sensitively measurement of ZEN content in real food samples.


    Shengmiao Liu, Xinyu Liu, Qianwen Pan, Zhihan Dai, Mingfei Pan, Shuo Wang. A Portable, Label-Free, Reproducible Quartz Crystal Microbalance Immunochip for the Detection of Zearalenone in Food Samples. Biosensors. 2021 Feb 19;11(2)

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    PMID: 33669533

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