Development of a portable and affordable Aflatoxin testing kit.
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An immunoaffinity fluorometry based testing kit developed for detecting and quantifying aflatoxins, a family of potent fungi-produced carcinogens that are commonly found in a variety of agricultural products. They have also been cited as biological agents under weapons development. The kit is small, handheld, affordable, highly sensitive, quick and quantitative, it requires no special storage. Concentrations from 5ppb to 100 parts per billion (ppb) can be determined in less than 5 minutes with a 5-mL sample volume using the kit. The device operates on the principles of immunoaffinity for specificity and fluorescence for a quantifying the amount of aflatoxin in the sample used. It uses the optical reactivity ability of the aflatoxin to determine its concentration in the sample, where when light in the blue visible light spectrum is passed through it, it absorbs some depending on the amount of the cancerous toxin in it, thus this property of the toxin is used to quantify it in the grans used. The analytic procedure is flexible so that other chemical and biological analytes can be detected with minor modifications to the current device such as using light of different wavelength and among others. Advances in electro-optical components, electronics were combined to produce this reliable, small, and versatile instrument. (Keywords: Aflatoxin, Absorption, Monochromatic, Fluorescence, Handheld, Immunoaffinity.)