Chemists at Kazan University work on a selective signaling technology based on new types of macrocycles.
The research of pillararenes as a new platform for electrochemical biosensors is financed by the Russian Science Foundation grant. The project is headed by Chair of the Department of Analytical Chemistry Gennady Yevtyugin.
Nowadays researchers try to make new chemical tech as simple as possible. In an ideal case it will suffice just to immerse the sensor into the tested substance and then interpret the result. One good example of such device is a glucometer – simple on the outside but quite sophisticated inside. The problem with sensors is their selectiveness, i. e. the ability to find necessary substances and filter out the rest.
Dr. Yevtyugin explains, «This grant is allocated to find new ways of obtaining a selective signal. It must be universal in application but specific in interpretation».
Pillararenes synthesized by the Department of Organic Chemistry – and not previously used in sensors - can be helpful here.
Dr. Yevtyugin continues, «We now have to use this advancement in electrochemistry. Right now pillararenes sensors can be used to detect pesticides in food, water and soil; cancer medications; biomarkers for medical diagnostics; DNA and proteins.
Moreover, a universal signal converter was created that can be used to extract necessary information. It is very sensitive – we can find attograms of DNA or 1 nanogram/liter of pesticides. This is two orders of magnitude better than existing analogs. And the process is extremely simple – you just have to submerge a sensor into a substance».
Electrochemical sensors are studied by teams from the USA, Slovakia, Italy, Sweden, France, and England. Among Russian universities there are MSU, UrFU, Ural State University of Economics and Saratov State University. Kazan University team pays special attention to creating sensors that can be compatible with simple chemical equipment available in most labs, such as oxymeters.