Paper-based acetylcholinesterase inhibition assay combining a wet system for organophosphate and carbamate pesticides detection
Keywords:paper-based sensor, wet system, pesticides, acetylcholine inhibition
A dramatic increase in pesticide usage in agriculture highlights the need for on-site monitoring for public health and safety. Here, a paper-based sensor combined with a wet system was developed for the simple and rapid screening of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CM) pesticides based on the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The paper-based sensor was designed as a foldable device consisting of a cover and detection sheets pre-prepared with indoxyl acetate and AChE, respectively. The paper-based sensor requires only the incubation of a sample on the test zone for 10 minutes, followed by closing of the foldable sheet to initiate the enzymatic reaction. Importantly, the buffer loading hole was additionally designed on the cover sheet to facilitate the interaction of the coated substrate and the immobilized enzyme. This subsequently facilitates the mixing of indoxyl acetate with AChE, resulting in the improved analytical performance of the sensor. The absence or decrease in blue color produced by the AChE hydrolysis of indoxyl acetate can be observed in the presence of OPs and CMs. Under optimized conditions and using image analysis, the limit of detection (LOD) of carbofuran, dichlorvos, carbaryl, paraoxon, and pirimicarb are 0.003, 0.3, 0.5, 0.6, and 0.6 ppm, respectively. The assay could be applied to determine OP and CM residues in spiked food samples. Visual interpretation of the color signal was clearly observed at the concentration of 5 mg/kg. Furthermore, a self-contained sample pre-concentration approach greatly enhanced the detection sensitivity. The paper-based device developed here is low-cost, requires minimal reagents and is easy to handle. As such, it would be practically useful for pesticide screening by non-professional end-users.
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