Want to know if a well is contaminated? Drop a pill in a vial of water and shake vigorously. If the colour changes, there’s the answer.
Inspiration can come in many forms, but this one truly was a breath of fresh air.
A group of McMaster researchers has solved the problem of cumbersome, expensive and painfully slow water-testing by turning the process upside-down.
Instead of shipping water to the lab, they have created a way to take the lab to the water, putting potentially life-saving technology into the hands of everyday people.
The team has reduced the sophisticated chemistry required for testing water safety to a simple pill, by adapting technology found in a dissolving breath strip. Want to know if a well is contaminated? Drop a pill in a vial of water and shake vigorously. If the colour changes, there’s the answer.
The development has the potential to dramatically boost access to quick and affordable testing around the world.
“We got the inspiration from the supermarket,” says Carlos Filipe, a professor of chemical engineering who worked on the project.
The idea occurred to team member Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi, a PhD student in Chemical Engineering who came across the breath strips while shopping and realized the same material used in the dissolving strips could have broader applications.
The technology is expected to have significant public health applications for testing water in remote areas and developing countries that lack testing infrastructure, for example.
The researchers have now created a way to store precisely measured amounts of enzymes and other active agents in pills made from the same naturally occurring substance used in breath strips, putting lab-quality science within instant and easy reach of people who need quick answers to questions such as whether their water is safe.
“This is regular chemistry that we know works but is now in pill form,” says John Brennan, director of McMaster’s Biointerfaces Institute, where the work took place. “The user can be anybody in a village somewhere who can take a pill out of a bottle and drop it in water.”
The material, called pullulan, forms a solid when dry, and protects sensitive agents from oxygen and temperature changes that can render them useless within hours. Until now, such agents have had to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and shipped in vials packed in huge chunks of dry ice, at great cost and inconvenience. Using them has been awkward, bulky and often wasteful.
The new method, described in an article published online in the prestigious European chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, also holds promise for other applications, such as packaging that could change colour if food is spoiled.
“Can you modify packaging so it has a sensor to tell you if your chicken has gone off?” Brennan asks. “The reason that doesn’t exist today is because there’s no way you can keep these agents stable enough.”
The new method allows the same materials to be stored virtually anywhere for months inside tiny pills that dissolve readily in liquid. The pills are inexpensive to produce and anyone can add them to well water, for an instant reading of pesticides, e. coli or metals, for example.
The new technology can easily be scaled up and find its way to market quickly, says Brennan. Pullulan is already approved for wide commercial use and is mass produced, which can speed the journey to market.
The Latest on: Water testing
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Water testing” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Water testing
- Lafayette area officials take steps to protect water supply as IEDC considers 35-mile pipelineon October 1, 2023 at 5:47 pm
Two state lawmakers are drafting legislation that would create a permitting process and require a deeper public review of any effort in the state to pump 10 million gallons or more per day from a ...
- What's That Smoke? Clearwater Conducts Smoke Testing Of Sewer Lineson October 1, 2023 at 4:30 pm
Contractor USSI LLC will perform smoke testing of sanitary sewer system lines throughout Clearwater through November.
- Eastern Iowa Airport testing more private wells for PFASon October 1, 2023 at 3:30 am
By testing 20 wells, as well as sampling groundwater and soil, airport leaders hope to understand the scope and direction of PFAS contamination and see if there is evidence of a link between tainted ...
- Detectable lead levels in water prompt run-rule at Traverse Heightson October 1, 2023 at 2:31 am
TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Heights Elementary School students, teachers and staff have a 30-second run-water rule after summer water testing revealed “small detectable levels” of lead in certain ...
- Mass. lawmakers consider requiring property owners to test well water before selling homeson September 28, 2023 at 7:58 am
Homeowners relying on wells for their drinking water may soon have to take the extra step of testing for contaminants when selling their property, if legislators pushing for the extension of clean ...
- New Trends of Drinking Water Testing Service Marketon September 28, 2023 at 5:45 am
Drinking Water Testing Service includes over 100 market data tables, pie charts, graphs, and figures distributed throughout the pages, along with an easily digestible in-depth analysis.
- What's in the water in Ashland | Action 16 Investigateson September 26, 2023 at 8:23 pm
After that meeting, Action 16 Investigates went to the Ashland area with a home water test kit we bought from Amazon for less than $30. We took samples from Jeff Stutzman's house in Fountain ...
- Water Testing Market Research Report by Size and Share 2023 | Latest Development, Growth Statistics and Forecast to 2030 | with 123 Pageson September 26, 2023 at 9:32 am
The global Water Testing market size was valued at USD 2432.37 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.21 percentage during the forecast period, reaching USD 3298.96 million by 2028.
- The Best Water Testing Kits To Ensure Safe Drinking At Homeon September 25, 2023 at 7:50 pm
The safety and health of our family members is something we should all take seriously. These are the best water testing kits to ensure safe drinking at home.
- Lead found in water at Lino Lakes prison; DOC says testing indicates no risks at Stillwateron September 20, 2023 at 1:02 pm
Minnesota prison officials say preliminary results from a new round of testing show the water at the Stillwater correctional facility is safe to drink — but testing at a different state prison, in ...
via Bing News