A smartphone device could help millions of people avoid drinking water contaminated by arsenic.
Researchers have developed a biosensor that attaches to a phone and uses bacteria to detect unsafe arsenic levels.
The device, developed at the University of Edinburgh, generates easy-to-interpret patterns, similar to volume-bars, which display the level of contamination.
Researchers believe there is an urgent need to provide simple, affordable, on-site solutions for contaminated water sources.
In resource-limited countries, there is a lack of sufficiently skilled personnel and healthcare facilities to test water for contamination.
Researchers say new devices could replace existing tests, which are difficult to use, need specialist laboratory equipment and can produce toxic chemicals.
We tested our sensors with samples from wells in a village in Bangladesh. The arsenic levels reported by the sensors was consistent with lab-based standard tests, demonstrating the device’s potential as a simple low-cost-use monitoring tool.
Global health issue
The contamination of water by heavy metals is a worldwide health issue. UNICEF reports that arsenic contaminated drinking water is consumed by more than 140 million people worldwide.
Researchers tested the arsenic sensors using environment samples from affected wells in Bangladesh, which suffers from some of the world’s highest levels of arsenic-contaminated ground water.
An estimated 20 million people in Bangladesh – mostly rural poor – drink contaminated water.
Long-term exposure to unsafe levels of arsenic leads to skin lesions and cancers and is linked to 20 per cent of all deaths in the worst-affected regions.
Researchers developed the biosensor by manipulating the genetic code of the bacteria Escherichia coli. They added genetic components to act as amplifiers when arsenic is detected.
Water samples were fed into a plastic device containing bacteria suspended in a gel. This produced fluorescent proteins that were visible in the presence of arsenic.
Researchers believe that the approach could be used to detect other environmental toxins, diagnose diseases and locate landmines.
Learn more: Smartphone test spots poisoned water risk
The Latest on: Biosensor
via Google News
The Latest on: Biosensor
- Researchers create biosensor by turning spider silk into optical fiberon August 2, 2022 at 8:36 am
Researchers have harnessed the light-guiding properties of spider silk to develop a sensor that can detect and measure small changes in the refractive index of a biological solution, including glucose ...
- North American Diagnostics latest to recall COVID-19 tests, gets Class I label from FDAon August 2, 2022 at 8:16 am
The recall adds to a list of medtech firms that have been forced to withdraw illegally distributed COVID-19 tests, amid concern they could yield false results.
- This Smart Necklace Soaks Up Your Sweat to Track Healthon July 25, 2022 at 11:42 am
Viktor Gladkov via GettyOn hot days, when life seems to mimic a line in the chorus of Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ banger “Get Low,” our sweat could actually give us important information about how ...
- Ohio State University: ‘Smart necklace’ biosensor may track health status through sweaton July 23, 2022 at 4:35 am
Researchers have successfully tested a device that may one day use the chemical biomarkers in sweat to detect changes in a person’s health. In a new study published in the journal Science Advances, a ...
- 'Smart necklace' biosensor may track health status through sweaton July 23, 2022 at 1:23 am
Ohio State University. (2022, July 22). 'Smart necklace' biosensor may track health status through sweat: Study tested ability of device to track glucose levels during exercise. ScienceDaily.
- Researchers in US developing fast, efficient COVID-19 biosensoron July 22, 2022 at 4:39 pm
Health professionals are increasingly ready for a future in which COVID-19 variations develop surge and fade similarly to seasonal flu as the BA5 omicron var ...
- 'Smart necklace' biosensor may track health status through sweaton July 22, 2022 at 7:28 am
Researchers have successfully tested a device that may one day use the chemical biomarkers in sweat to detect changes in a person's health.
- Fast, efficient COVID-19 biosensor under developmenton July 22, 2022 at 4:10 am
Fast, efficient COVID-19 biosensor under development Researchers are improving technology to test for the coronavirus at a 'population scale' in order to stay on top of shifting variants Date ...
- A fast, efficient COVID-19 biosensor is under developmenton July 21, 2022 at 12:28 pm
As the BA.5 omicron variant continues to spread, health experts are increasingly preparing for a future in which such COVID-19 variants emerge, surge and recede, similar to seasonal flu.
- Fast, efficient COVID-19 biosensor under developmenton July 21, 2022 at 10:59 am
To help meet this challenge, researchers from the School of Science at IUPUI are developing a new biosensor with the potential to achieve the speed and efficiency required for the future of COVID-19 ...
via Bing News