A collaboration between DTU Electro, Pisco ApS, DTU Health technology, DTU Sustain and Zeta ApS will develop a series of measuring instruments for the detection of PFAS in Danish food production. This will give Danish farmers and the food industry as well as the authorities the opportunity to effectively screen food and its ingredients for PFAS contamination using measuring devices that are both faster and cheaper than the current laboratory-based methods. This will reduce detection costs by billions and minimize the risk of product recalls and – most importantly – protect the Danish population from further PFAS exposure.
The development of three PFAS measurement units is planned in this project, all of which use aptamers to selectively 'capture' the PFAS molecules.
- The quick test PFAS LFA will, by means of the Lateral Flow Assay (LFA), be used as a qualitative quick test for the detection of PFAS in agriculture.
- The laboratory version PFAS SPR, which by means of Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), will be able to be used to quantify PFAS in the Danish food industry at the level of current methods but faster and much cheaper.
- The hand-held PFAS Fiber SPR is a further development of the SPR version which, with the help of fiber optics, will be able to detect PFAS continuously in food control.
The research at DTU Electro in this area will be about how to functionalize Polymer Optical Fibers (POF) and microstructured POF as optical sensing platforms, aptamers, an assay compartment, and membranes.
With PFAS Detect, the PFAS problem will be made more transparent and put Denmark at the forefront of the fight against PFAS.
- Green Development and Demonstration Programme (GUDP) investment: 11.990.824 DKK
- Total budget: 15.305.602
- Duration: 3½ years
- Official title: PFAS Detect
Health effects of PFAS
PFAS chemicals are not acutely toxic, but the substances can cause negative health effects if you are exposed to them over a long period of time.
- Increased risk of kidney cancer and testicular cancer
- Reduced vaccine effect in children
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Minor drop in birth weight
- Increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women