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Minilab can quickly identify antibiotic residues in milk, before it leaves the barn
Date:5/7/2010

tibody reaction. A glass plate is marked with dots of the antibiotics; this is known as a microarray. Then they add antibodies to the milk sample that bind specifically to the antibiotics. If an antibiotic is present, most of the antibodies are bound depending on the concentration. The rest of the antibody molecules bind to the corresponding antibiotic on the glass chip.

Through a chemoluminescence reaction, such as that used to detect blood in forensic samples, the dots carrying the highest load of antibody light up most. If the milk sample contains antibiotics, the luminosity of the dot is correspondingly reduced, because the antibodies have been used up already. The light intensity is measured with an electronic camera, thus supplying proof, not only of whether there is an antibiotic in the milk, but also of how much of it is present.

Working with gwk Praezisionstechnik GmbH, the scientists developed a fully automated minilab, which, in conjunction with the microarray, precisely determines whether or not the maximum permitted limits are exceeded in raw, unpasteurized milk. "These kinds of microarrays have long been in use in the medical sphere and in research labs," says Dr. Michael Seidel from the TUM's Institute of Analytical Chemistry. "This milk chip is the world's first fully automated analysis system to employ the technique in practice with milk samples that have not been pretreated." It takes just under six minutes to achieve a result. And each microarray can be reused up to 50 times. This makes it the fastest and cheapest system of its kind in the world.

The scientists are hopeful that the analysis system will help avoid production losses and significant disposal costs. "Not only the more than 100,000 milk-producing businesses and more than 36,000 people working in the milk-processing industry will benefit from our development," says Professor Reinhard Niessner, from the Chair for Analytical Chemistry at the TUM. "Above all th
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Contact: Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-2890
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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