Integrated Magneto-Chemical Sensor for On-Site Food Allergen Detection

Hsing Ying Lin, Chen Han Huang, Jongmin Park, Divya Pathania, Cesar M. Castro, Alessio Fasano, Ralph Weissleder, Hakho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Adverse food reactions, including food allergies, food sensitivities, and autoimmune reaction (e.g., celiac disease) affect 5-15% of the population and remain a considerable public health problem requiring stringent food avoidance and epinephrine availability for emergency events. Avoiding problematic foods is practically difficult, given current reliance on prepared foods and out-of-home meals. In response, we developed a portable, point-of-use detection technology, termed integrated exogenous antigen testing (iEAT). The system consists of a disposable antigen extraction device coupled with an electronic keychain reader for rapid sensing and communication. We optimized the prototype iEAT system to detect five major food antigens in peanuts, hazelnuts, wheat, milk, and eggs. Antigen extraction and detection with iEAT requires <10 min and achieves high-detection sensitivities (e.g., 0.1 mg/kg for gluten, lower than regulatory limits of 20 mg/kg). When testing under restaurant conditions, we were able to detect hidden food antigens such as gluten within "gluten-free" food items. The small size and rapid, simple testing of the iEAT system should help not only consumers but also other key stakeholders such as clinicians, food industries, and regulators to enhance food safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10062-10069
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2017


  • allergen
  • electrochemical sensing
  • food allergy
  • food safety
  • point of care


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