What we do
The aims of LEC cover technological research and innovation, supplying services, participation in R&D projects and consultancy services in the following areas:
Electroanalysis for the quantitative determination of traces of toxic chemical species, in especially metals waters and effluents, such as lead, zinc, cadmium and copper;
Water and effluents - Electroanalysis has the great advantage of being, at present, the only methodology which permits the direct measurement of the fraction of chemically available ions that can cause toxicity. The objective is to determine the chemical species quantitatively by reduction or oxidation on the surface of the electroanalytical sensor. The concentrations of toxic metal ions and other toxic species in waters are usually very low but the effects of toxicity can occur in concentrations of micrograms per litre. Determining the concentrations of these species is necessary for companies and other agencies with activity in the areas of environment, chemistry, ecology and health.
Electrochemical corrosion of metallic materials in saline media;
Metallic corrosion - Problems with metallic corrosion at ambient temperature arise due to the contact of metals with liquids and solutions. Electrochemical techniques enable the evaluation of the corrosion parameters. Additionally, metallic corrosion usually leads to the release of metal ions into solutions which may be toxic and constitute a source of pollution as well as causing the embrittlement and erosion of the metals. Studies into inhibiting corrosion and reducing the corrosion rate are needed.
Development of electrochemical sensors and biosensors, with DNA and enzymes;
The development of electrochemical sensors and biosensors with DNA and enzymes is of great importance in the areas of environment, health and food. Electrochemical enzyme biosensors enable the determination of many analytes with excellent precision. DNA-electrochemical biosensors allow the evaluation of the oxidative damage to DNA by anticancer drugs and by environmentally toxic compounds. One of the main objectives is the development of new nanostructured materials for modifying the electrode surface which lead to an increase in efficiency and stability and to the decrease of detection limits.
Study of redox behaviour of antioxidants found in fruits.
Flavonoids are plant phenolic compounds found in red fruits. They are recognised for their powerful antioxidant properties related to their electron donor abilities; their redox behaviour is involved in pharmacological, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. The phenolic compounds can also exhibit pro-oxidant action, producing free radicals which have an important role as killer agents of pathogenic invaders.