Low-Cost Optics for Field-Based Optical Biosensors

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Kriuchkovskaia, Viktoriia
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Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Symposium provides undergraduates from all academic disciplines with an opportunity to share their research with the university community and other guests through conference-style oral presentations. The Symposium represents part of a larger effort of Iowa State University to enhance, support, and celebrate undergraduate research activity.

Though coordinated by the University Honors Program, all undergraduate students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the Symposium. Undergraduates conducting research but not yet ready to present their work are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the presentation process and students not currently involved in research are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the broad range of undergraduate research activities that are taking place at ISU.

The first Symposium was held in April 2007. The 39 students who presented research and their mentors collectively represented all of ISU's Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate College. The event has grown to regularly include more than 100 students presenting on topics that span the broad range of disciplines studied at ISU.

Chemical and Biological Engineering

One of the main reasons of failures to ensure safe food production, especially in developing countries, is the lack of effective, low-cost detectors for toxic molecules. The manufacture of low-cost, easy-touse optical biosensors is expected to provide the means to detect toxic chemical and biological molecules in agricultural industry. Thus, such technologies are highly beneficial for in-field applications. The proposed approach integrates fairly sophisticated engineering concepts and low-cost parts and materials. Indeed, we employ low-cost light-emitting diode and single-board Raspberry Pi computer in order to build a fifty-dollar optical reader that can be applied to Nanotube-based biosensors. Previous research and our findings have shown promising results which offer the prospect to proceed to further steps in our research.