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Office Paper-Based Electrochemical Strips for Organophosphorus Pesticide Monitoring in Agricultural Soil

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journal contribution
posted on 24.06.2021, 18:38 authored by Alessia Cioffi, Marco Mancini, Valentina Gioia, Stefano Cinti
Although the use of pesticides has highlighted obvious advantages on agricultural yields, intensive and widespread pesticide use raises serious environmental and health concerns. In particular, organophosphate pesticides represent >40% of the totality used in the field of agriculture, and developing countries face the issue of agricultural poisoning, also due to scarce monitoring programs. In this work, a decentralized, miniaturized, sustainable, and portable paper-based electrochemical biosensor for the quantification of organophosphorus pesticides’ level has been realized. The proposed approach highlights the use of a very common paper-based substrate, namely, office paper. Office paper offers several advantages due to its nature: it allows one to print conductive strips for electrochemical connection, loading bio-hybrid nanosized probes (Prussian blue, carbon black, and butyrylcholinesterase), evaluating pesticides and reducing waste disposal compared to plastic-based strips. The portable system has been characterized by a low detection limit of 1.3 ng/mL, and accordingly to total discovered pesticide contents in EU agricultural soils, up to ca. 3 μg/mL, it can offer a valuable tool for fast monitoring. To demonstrate its effectiveness, soil and fruit vegetables have been used to perform in situ quantification. Good recovery percentages between 90 and 110% have been achieved in different matrices, highlighting to be suitable for field measurements, and a good correlation has been obtained in comparison with LC–MS analysis.