New Sensor Detects Arsenic Contamination in One Min

May 17, 2018  Source: Ddu 167

According to WHO, around 140 million individuals consume arsenic contaminated water each year, which leads to the development of skin malignancy and harms IQ levels. Current arsenic detectors need diagnostic kits or the aid of laboratory scientists and takes up to half an hour to get the result.

Scientists from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial have developed a small, user-friendly, accurate and cost-effective sensor to test arsenic levels in drinking water within a minute. When a drop of water hits the test strip, it gives the arsenic level count digitally.

University and Science Minister, Sam Gyimah said, “This sensor, to detect harmful levels of water contamination, will make a huge difference across developing nations, potentially saving millions of lives.”

Professor Tony Cass from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial said, “It’s been a real journey to take an idea, conceived of at a London Centre for Nanotechnology research day, through proof of concept research, then into prototyping and scale up and now to field trials in Bangladesh. Now the technology has been spun out we can look forward to scale up of manufacture and ultimately deployment.”

Dr. David Sarphie, CEO of Bio Nano Consulting said, “We were doing some early-stage field trials a few months ago in Bangladesh and a lot of the villagers were actually pleading with us to come and measure their well because they had no idea how much arsenic was in their water.”

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