- The sensor uses a portable smartphone-based upconverting reusable fluorescent paper strip.
- This transparent Upconversion Nanoparticles (UCNP) strip has been found to be sensitive to lycopene.
- A simple smartphone camera can be used for detection.
- Upconversion is a process where light can be emitted with photon energies higher than the light generating the excitation.
- The research team has found the newly developed transparent strip offering minimal scattering with maximum sensitivity despite not using any metal quenchers, in comparison to previous paper strips.
- An increase in strip hydrophobicity during the fabrication process complements the strip to selectively permeate and present an extraction-free substitute analysis for chromatography.
- Hydrophobicity endows the strip with the capability to reuse the strip with approximately 100 per cent luminescence recovery.
What is Lycopene ?
- Lycopene is a carotenoid found in tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelons and papaya.
- It is also synthesised by plants and microorganisms but cannot be synthesised by the human body and can only be obtained via diet.
- It is a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart diseases.
- Several epidemiologic studies have suggested a strong association between a high intake of lycopene-rich foods and a reduced risk of several cancers, notably prostate cancer.
- However, there are not many well-designed clinical trials conducted and the data remain inconclusive.
- As lycopene has potent antioxidant effects, it may interfere with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- The undesirable degradation of lycopene affects the health benefit of tomato and other tomato-based foods for the human body.
- The quality of the produce is rated on the basis of the lycopene present in it and is priced accordingly.