News Release

Brazilians create sensor to monitor levels of widely used antibiotic in water and food

The device, which combines magnetic fluorescent nanoparticles, was designed at the Center for Development of Functional Materials, a research center supported by FAPESP and hosted by the Federal University of São Carlos.

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

Brazilians create sensor to monitor levels of widely used antibiotic in water and food


The device was tested on water samples, showing good sensitivity and ease of handling 

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Credit: CDMF

Researchers at the Center for Development of Functional Materials (CDMFdescribe in the Journal of Molecular Liquids the development of a sensor that detects metronidazole in organisms and the environment. Metronidazole is an antibiotic used in human and veterinary medicine. Accumulation of this drug in the body can result in various health problems, and levels in blood, water, meat and milk, among others, need to be monitored.

The sensor combined magnetic fluorescent multi-functional molecularly imprinted polymers (MFMIP) with a non-imprinted reference composite. Tests on water samples showed good sensitivity and practical advantages such as the possibility of real-time analysis and ease of handling.

CDMF is one of FAPESP’s Research, Innovation and Diffusion Centers (RIDCs) and is hosted by the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar).

The first and last authors of the article are Laís Mendes Alvarenga and Luciano Sindra Virtuoso. The other co-authors are Cristiane dos Reis Feliciano, Bruno Giordano Alvarenga, Hauster Maximiler Campos de Paula, Yara Luiza Coelho, Luís Henrique Mendes da Silva, Luiz Fernando Gorup and Mariane Gonçalves Santos.

About São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can learn more about FAPESP at and visit FAPESP news agency at to keep updated with the latest scientific breakthroughs FAPESP helps achieve through its many programs, awards and research centers. You may also subscribe to FAPESP news agency at

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