Olive oil is more preferred than other vegetable oils because of the increasing health concern among people throughout the world. The major hindrance in large-scale production of olive oil is olive fruit pests which cause serious economic damage to the olive orchards. This requires careful monitoring and timely application of suitable remedies before pest infestation. Herein we demonstrate efficacious utilization of covalently functionalized β-cyclodextrinylated MEMS devices for selective and sensitive detection of female sex pheromone of olive fruit pest, Bactocera oleae. Two of the MEMS devices, silicon dioxide surface-micromachined cantilever arrays and zinc oxide surface-microfabricated interdigitated circuits, have been used to selectively capture the major pheromone component, 1,7-dioxaspiro[5,5]undecane. The non-covalent capture of olive pheromones inside the β-cyclodextrin cavity leads to the reduction of resonant frequency of the cantilevers, whereas an increase in resistance has been found in case of zinc oxide derived MEMS devices. Sensitivity of the MEMS devices towards the olive pheromone was found to be directly correlated with the increasing availability of β-cyclodextrin moieties over the surface of the devices and thus the detection limit of the devices has been achieved to a value as low as 0.297 ppq of the olive pheromone when the devices were functionalized with one of the standardized protocols. Overall, the reversible usability and potential capability of the suitably functionalized MEMS devices to selectively detect the presence of female sex pheromone of olive fruit fly before the onset of pest infestation in an orchard makes the technology quite attractive for viable commercial application.
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