'Paper-based device to detect uranium in water'

LONDON: Scientists have developed a inexpensive, portable paper-based sensor that can detect uranium in small quantities of drinking water to ensure compliance with international standards.

The sensor, described in the journal Scientific Reports, has a lateral flow system that uses antibody-coated gold nanoparticles as high-sensitivity labels.

The presence of uranium in groundwater can lead to severe health problems, from renal failure to cancer, said researchers from he Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN) in Catalonia.

Standard methods to detect uranium involve time-consuming processes and expensive, non-portable equipment.

Measurements are therefore rarely performed in-field, which adds time between the moment of contamination and the moment of detection, delaying remediation efforts.

Researchers led by Professor Arben Merkoci created the paper-based sensor systems to develop an inexpensive, portable biosensor.

This biosensor is able to detect uranium in small enough quantities to ensure compliance with international drinking water standards, they said.


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