Work Packages Progress
Work carried out during the first 30 months
MOLOKO technology is effectively leading to innovation, in particular the use of microfluidics with a degree of automation in online applications (milking systems). The vast majority of rapid analytical commercial tests in the dairy industry are based on the same technology, lateral flow immunoassay.
Production and commercialization of the MOLOKO system is foreseen in the future and dairy market diagnostic test manufacturers have been identified as the possible targets.
A reliable plan for demonstrating the proof of concept of the MOLOKO detection scheme in lab environment by the implementation of the manually controlled MOLOKO sensor prototype has been developed. The plan has been implemented in order to face the forced lockdown due to COVID19 crisis.
End-users guided the definition of the use-cases of the MOLOKO system and the online sampler of the MOLOKO system has been realized and tested in lab environment.
The specifications of the single-device components were defined according to a system-engineering view-point, comprising the final bio-optical sensor in order to meet the requests of the end-users in terms of sensitivity, limits of detection, measure time, usability. Also, the list of the analytes to be detected in relation to real applications scenarios was defined: quality vs safety detection, position along the value chain of milk (milking, collecting and processing), measure protocol.
One of the main WP2 output is the effective integration of the photonic module with the functionalization block and the electronics. Operation stability of the photonic module and the dependence of its characteristics on temperature has been evaluated. The organic photonic module is compatible with the functionalization block and the electronics and the operational characteristics are in line with the requirements.
The fabrication of the MOLOKO grating on the encapsulation caps has been put in place.
The encapsulation of the photonic module with the nanoplasmonic grating has been performed.
Integration of the components from WP2, WP4, WP5 with the nanoplasmonic grating allowed the realization of a MOLOKO manually controlled sensor prototype.
By the use of the prototype of the manually controlled sensor, the sensor calibration and demonstration of the self-testing functionality
In strict collaboration with Together with WFSR and VTT, first test on selected immunoassays (for the detection of Lactoferrin, Streptomycin and K-casein) were performed.
Interfacing technology for optoplasmonic module (OPM – OLED + OPD + nanoplasmonic grating) and microfluidic module has been developed and the prototyping of microfluidic modules started. The milk sampler has been developed and integration in milking system demonstrated in lab environment.
The farm testing had to be delayed due to Corona restrictions.
The electronic board and the software comprising the manually controlled MOLOKO sensor have been realized and proved to be working. Three MOLOKO demonstrators accompanied with desktop applications have been delivered and the electronic performance are in line with the expectations in terms of sensitivity and accuracy of the measurements. The desktop application has proven to be a very valuable tool for process and outputs evaluation.
The prototype multiplex assay was tested for cross-interactions, optimum dilutions and for regeneration conditions, to make the sensor reusable by using a benchtop instrumentation as BIACORE.
Single assays can be successfully combined to obtain multiplexing in the case of low-molecular weight milk-contaminants. In the case of high-molecular weight assays the non-specific interaction issue was identified and properly faced.
Recombinant antibodies for Enterotoxins A and B have been developed and delivered for performance testing.
The pre-validation has started by defining the appropriate criteria and experimental activity is in progress.
Since month 18, WP8 contributed to the finalization of relevant analytes list, either for safety or quality.
Milk sampling procedures and routine analytical procedures have been defined as well as activities related to risk assessment and management plan.
The integration and use of the MOLOKO system in selected use-case scenarios have been provided together with the specifications about the features and the functioning of the MOLOKO system.
Two strategic use cases throughout the milk chain: the FARM scenario (transfer of MOLOKO system to the end-user MILKLINE for the integration at milk primary production level) and the MILK PROCESSING INDUSTRY scenario: transfer of MOLOKO system to the end user PARMALAT for the integration at milk post-primary production level.
Despite these last six critical months due to the pandemic situation, several dissemination actions have been put in place which have resulted in wide awareness of the project within the dairy processing market worldwide. Therefore, dissemination has been effective at publicising MOLOKO widely to stakeholders and resulted in an excellent level of market knowledge and interest in MOLOKO.
One project Workshop entitled “Organic photonics and bioelectronics as innovative technologies in smart agrifood Insights from MOLOKO H2020 project” was organized at LOPEC 2020 on the 26th March 2020. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 it has been postponed.
The Plan for Exploitation and Dissemination of Results (PEDR) and the Data Management Plan (DMP) have been updated.
Despite this difficult period, the project Coordination team reacted properly, with the active collaboration of all partners, to keep communication and coordination of activities in line in the middle of the pandemic.
Consequently, delays in technical activities as well as deliverables’ submission have been managed with the definition of a shared workplan.
The continuous monitoring of the COVID19 crisis will continue with the aim to mitigate the impact on the MOLOKO implementation.