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BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS IN AGRICULTURE

A cellular biosensor on virus detection, a spin-off perceived as a raw model for transferring knowledge from the laboratory to the daily life along with an innovative distance learning system are indicative activities of the laboratory of Plant Physiology and Morphology of the Agricultural University of Athens.

Through a long and internationally coordinated effort, Professor Spiridon Kintzios’ team, has managed to distinguish and contribute significantly to education, presenting new innovative methods in the field of agronomic biotechnology. At the same time, technologies developed by the team find use in many countries and are being considered as part of the technological background of business plans.

The lab takes advantage of the latest achievements of biotechnology and uses many techniques in the process of studying flowering and morphogenetic phenomena in vitro, in developping useful automatic cell culture system etc.

Education and research on the subject of biotechnology of plants, with emphasis on tissue culture and biosensors

LAB RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

The Bioelectric Recognition Assay (BERA) is an innovative biosensor method on virus detection which is based on measuring changes of the electrical properties in group cells, properly immobilized in a gel matrix so that their physiological functions are preserved while interacting with viruses under detection. The survey examined the universal application of the method for the qualitative and quantitative determination of viruses in humans and plants. A further innovative aspect of this method is the molecular identification through membrane engineering, which allows the creation of mimetic cells with selective reactivity at any target molecule.

Another awarded design is that of the EMBIO standard, which deals with both the technological improvement of the method, and the production of end products based on BERA technology and directly available for final use. At the same time, efforts are made towards its recognition as a certified analytical standard extending from food safety to preventive medicine.

Finally, an innovative system which allows the improvement of skills and abilities of people who work or plan to work in the field of plant biotechnology, was also designed by a team of AUA. This project is the only global online education tool in agronomic biotechnology. The platform is directly accessible by all interested users. The training material includes video and slides, while there is the possibility of experiential laboratory practice. Furthermore, it is available in four foreign languages, as well as in the Greek Sign Language, which is internationally innovative as far as technical training material is concerned.

Hellenic Society of Virology-2001, International VC Forum-2004, ΙΚΥ-2009

Awards of the laboratory of Plant Physiology and Morphology, AUA:

» 'Georgia Christodoulopoulou' Award for the development of BERA in virology applications.

» 5th International Venture Capital Forum for the development business plan spin-off ΕΜΒΙΟ (ACT Α of GSRT).

» Award by IKY on the coordination of Leonardo da Vinci program: Vocational training on plant micropropagation with emphasis on the use of biotechnological methods.

» Best emerging diagnostic technology - The Knowledge Foundation (2006).

» 3QLabs: First prize ENTREP AUA (2006).

» Hellenic Society of Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress (2005).

AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS

Spiros Kintzios, Professor of laboratory of Plant Physiology and Morphology, Faculty of Biotechnology

Team Members: G. Moschopoulou, P. Blouhos, A. L. Petrou-Gini, E. Pistola, Robert Levin, Prof. Alexander Simonian, S. Mavrikou, E. Flampouri, R. Zika, I. Marinopoulou, A. Perdikaris.

http://gbt.aua.gr/el/