An instrument for use in monitoring of toxins and pollutants using a biosensor needs to have the following attributes, it should be:
Robust:- it is likely to be used in a wide range of potentially challenging environments compared with a laboratory, such as water treatment works, fruit juice processing sites, fish farms etc.
Sensitive:- able to detect compounds at very low levels when required
Versatile:- able to contain different biosensor units within the same physical footprint, and able to detect compounds in a range of different sample types so that monitoring can be tailored to the precise needs of the test site
Label-free:- a direct measurement of the test compounds is best for giving real-time detection and easier quantification of the compounds in the samples
Non-specialised:- in practice this instrument should be employable by a technician on-site at the factory and so specialist skills should not be required to operate it routinely
Remote sensing:- the instrument must be able to be function as a remote monitoring device capable of sensing and transmitting data output e.g. for use on off-shore sampling
The FP7 funded RADAR consortium will tackle these requirements in the development of the RADAR instrument