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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5207M Food Diagnostics and Next- Generation Biosensors

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Matteo Castronovo

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Degree in a science subject

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module students should be able to:
(a) understand the principles and applications of nucleic acids manipulation in biosensing;
(b) understand the principles and applications of biomolecular recognition in biosensing and imaging;
(c) understand the uses and limitations of biosensing in biological samples and food;
(d) understand the opportunities offered by cutting-edge biotechnologies for food and health;
(e) understand the principles behind GMOs and their detection in food.
(f) understand some of the lab activities in the area of nucleic acids analysis.

Learning outcomes
1. understanding the principles of nucleic acids analysis and manipulation for applications in food diagnostics and, more generally, the molecular analysis of biological samples;
2. designing and performing PCR experiments for food analysis;
3. presenting state-of-the art results in the area of nanobiotechnology taken from the literature.


Specificity and sensitivity in probe-target interactions; enzymatic manipulation of DNA; Gene Editing; immuno-assays; hybridisation assays; the PCR reaction; sequencing technologies; label-free methods for biomolecular analysis; and their applications; signal-to-noise ratio, throughput and multiplexing in biomolecular analysis; limitations in food analysis; scanning probe microscopy (SPM); GMOs and their detection; Nobel Prize winners in PCR, DNA sequencing, Gene Editing and SPM.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

32 hours: reading for lectures;
14 hours: reports for practical demonstrations;
8 hours: report writing;
24 hours: examination and preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through practical demonstrations and attendance at lectures and seminars.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationPresentation of a research article chosen by the student from a list assigned by the module leader15.00
ReportLaboratory report focusing on relevant experiments carried out in lab (approx. 1000 words and a few figures)25.00
In-course MCQAssessment carried out in a computer cluster35.00
Essay or DissertationA case study aimed to expand understanding of the scientific literature/research/innovation results springing from or related to the research article selected for the presentation25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:42


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