2023 Young Chemist Award Winner

Congratulations to our 11th Annual Young Chemist Award winner, Manish Samson!

University of Texas at Dallas Department of Bioengineering in the Biomedical Microdevices and Nanotechnology Laboratory

Research Title: The Development of a Portable Electrochemical Sensor Platform for the Detection of Pesticides and GMO Proteins in Low-Fat and High-Fat Food Matrices

Summary: The detection of pesticides and GMO proteins in food is becoming increasingly important due to new regulatory standards, a vested interest in consumer health safety as well as the growing usage of pesticides and GMOs in enhancing crop yields. Current gold standard analytical methods that are used for the detection of pesticides and GMO proteins in food samples require trained personnel, expensive equipment and extensive sample pre-processing. Similarly, sample extraction methods require technical skills that consumers do not possess. These inherent limitations make it impossible to translate the performance of these gold standard methods into field-deployable applications that can be used by everyday consumers.  

In order to bridge the gap between consumer and laboratory, Manish’s research aims to develop an electrochemical immuno-assay sensing platform that can selectively and sensitively detect organophosphate pesticides and GMO proteins in real, minimally processed low-fat and high-fat food matrices. This portable pesticide analytical screening system allows for a robust, efficient and reliable multiplexed detection of pesticides and GMO proteins in real food samples - proving to be a reliable alternative to current laboratory gold standard methods. Due to the inherent flexibility and high translational strength of the sensing platform, it can be modified to detect a wide myriad of environmental and food contaminants - empowering consumers and laymen and lowering the barrier of entry to high-performance detection methods for these contaminants.