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    Chula scientist awarded 2021 young scientist for cutting-edge biosensors

    “Sensor” is a new technology that facilitates many facets of modern, everyday life. From key cards to automatic doors, to measurement of harmful residuals in the environment, agricultural, and food products, it can also be used for medical purposes like measuring blood and sugar levels.

    Developing easy, convenient, fast, and accurate sensors has always been the priority of Dr. Sudkate Chaiyo, an IBGE-CU scientist who is fully dedicated to the research and development of various types of sensors for enhancing people’s quality of life. Such dedication recently earned him the 2021 Young Scientist Award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King with outstanding projects: “Food and Agriculture Safety Assessment Sensors” and Thailand’s first “COVID-19 Immunity Detection Sensors”.

    The beginning of the Young Scientist – the sensor developer

    Dr. Sudkate is a scientist who is interested in analyzing and inventing various innovations, particularly sensor technology because it can integrate various laboratory gauges into one device.

    “I am interested in applying my knowledge of analytical chemistry to develop a new sensor platform that will be useful to people and can be used at home. However, there are still limitations in the sensor’s large size, high import price, and complicated use. This means it requires the expertise of sensor operators.”

    Biosensors Scientist

    Intending to develop a sensor that is more accessible to the general public and brings benefits to a broader audience, Dr. Sudkate has been devoting over 10 years of his effort to the research and development of a new type of sensor at an affordable price using parts produced domestically. The first sensor he developed was a smaller, more affordable device to detect heavy metals in food and the environment, the use of which has been extended to industrial purposes. Subsequently, he developed other sensors to detect antibiotics, residual pesticides, as well as medical sensors.

    Sensors to Detect Heavy Metal in Food and the Environment

    With the collaboration from professors of the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, and IBGE-CU, Dr. Sudkate has succeeded in developing a biological and chemical sensor for food safety, as well as checking for chemical residues, antibiotics, and pesticides.

    Dr. Sudkate revealed that the self-test sensors for heavy metal, food quality, chemical residues, antibiotics, and pesticides are under the prototyping process. Initially, these self-test sensors were first given to shrimp farms in Suphan-Buri to verify the potential applicability of the developed sensors. Interestingly, the results indicate a satisfactory precision and promising functionality for quantifying antibiotics and heavy metals in food samples compared to the current standard methods. Previous

    Medical and COVID-19 Immunity Detection Sensors

    During the latest COVID-19 outbreaks, Dr. Sudkate proceeded with developing a sensor to detect immunity to COVID-19. Test results proved consistent with the standard methods and have already been tested in infected patients. It is the world’s first study to use a paper-based electrochemistry sensor to measure COVID-19 antibodies.

    In addition, Dr. Sudkate also developed a sensor for the COVID-19 Antigen Test Kit (ATK) that displays a faster result in numbers rather than a color band. Also under development are clinical sensors for glucose and cholesterol levels.

    “Most sensors in the market are enzyme biosensors. The disadvantage, however, is that they have a concise shelf life when exposed to heat. My current research is the development of non-enzyme cholesterol and glucose sensors that will ensure longer shelf life.”

    The 2021 Young Scientist’s Secret of Success

    Dr. Sudkate said that he owes his various achievements to his determination to work hard, and the cooperation of faculty, students, and both public and private agencies.

    “Do your best with what’s in front of you. With determination, you can solve problems and overcome obstacles,” Dr. Sudkate opined while revealing his goals of developing commercially viable products for the public.

    Organizations interested in the sensors or their development can contact the Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Tel. 0-2218-8078, or email [email protected]

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