We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
BIO-RAD LABORATORIES

Download Mobile App




Low-Cost Portable Sensor Detects Heavy Metals in Sweat

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Jan 2023
Print article
Image: Flexible copper sensor made cheaply from ordinary materials (Photo courtesy of University of São Paulo)
Image: Flexible copper sensor made cheaply from ordinary materials (Photo courtesy of University of São Paulo)

Heavy metals like lead and cadmium can be found in batteries, cosmetics, food and many other things that have become a part of daily life. However, they become toxic if they accumulate in the human body and can cause several health problems. Expensive equipment and a controlled laboratory environment are usually required to detect heavy metals in body fluids. Researchers have now developed a portable sensor made of simple materials that can detect heavy metals in sweat, which is easily sampled.

Humans discharge heavy metals mostly through sweat and urine. The analysis of these biofluids forms a key part of toxicological tests as well as treatment. As compared to other gold-standard tests for detecting heavy metals in biofluids, the new sensor developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil) is simple in terms of the materials used to manufacture it and the production stages it goes through. The device is connected to a potentiostat, a portable instrument that determines the concentration of each metal by measuring differences in potential and current between electrodes. The result is displayed on a computer or smartphone using appropriate application software. The system is so simple that it can be used by non-specialists without training, as well as by technicians in hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices.

“We get important information on a person’s health by measuring their exposure to heavy metals. High levels of cadmium can lead to fatal problems in the airways, liver and kidneys. Lead poisoning damages the central nervous system and causes irritability, cognitive impairment, fatigue, infertility, high blood pressure in adults and delayed growth and development in children,” said Paulo Augusto Raymundo Pereira, last author of the article. “The world needs flexible sensors that are easily, cheaply and rapidly mass-produced, as our device is, for on-site detection, continuous monitoring and decentralized analysis of hazardous compounds.”

“The base of the device is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), on top of which is a conductive flexible copper adhesive tape, a label of the kind you can buy from a stationer’s, with the sensor printed on it, and a protective layer of nail varnish or spray,” said Robson R. da Silva, co-author of the article. “The exposed copper is removed by immersion in ferric chloride solution for 20 minutes, followed by washing in distilled water to promote the necessary corrosion. All this ensures speed, scalability, low power and low cost.”

Related Links:
University of São Paulo 

Platinum Member
COVID-19 Rapid Test
OSOM COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
MAG and HEATMAG
Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Test
GPP-100 Anti-CCP Kit
Gold Member
ADAMTS-13 Protease Activity Test
ATS-13 Activity Assay

Print article

Channels

Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The 3D printed miniature ionizer is a key component of a mass spectrometer (Photo courtesy of MIT)

3D Printed Point-Of-Care Mass Spectrometer Outperforms State-Of-The-Art Models

Mass spectrometry is a precise technique for identifying the chemical components of a sample and has significant potential for monitoring chronic illness health states, such as measuring hormone levels... Read more

Hematology

view channel
Image: The CAPILLARYS 3 DBS devices have received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Sebia)

Next Generation Instrument Screens for Hemoglobin Disorders in Newborns

Hemoglobinopathies, the most widespread inherited conditions globally, affect about 7% of the population as carriers, with 2.7% of newborns being born with these conditions. The spectrum of clinical manifestations... Read more

Immunology

view channel
Image: The AI predictive model identifies the most potent cancer killing immune cells for use in immunotherapies (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

AI Predicts Tumor-Killing Cells with High Accuracy

Cellular immunotherapy involves extracting immune cells from a patient's tumor, potentially enhancing their cancer-fighting capabilities through engineering, and then expanding and reintroducing them into the body.... Read more

Microbiology

view channel
Image: The T-SPOT.TB test is now paired with the Auto-Pure 2400 liquid handling platform for accurate TB testing (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Integrated Solution Ushers New Era of Automated Tuberculosis Testing

Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for 1.3 million deaths every year, positioning it as one of the top killers globally due to a single infectious agent. In 2022, around 10.6 million people were diagnosed... Read more

Pathology

view channel
Image: The new AI tool can help beat brain tumors (Photo courtesy of Crystal Light/Shutterstock)

New AI Tool Classifies Brain Tumors More Quickly and Accurately

Precision in diagnosing and categorizing tumors is essential for delivering effective treatment to patients. Currently, the gold standard for identifying various types of brain tumors involves DNA methylation-based... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.