Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Sensor System Improves Detection Of Lead, Heavy Metals

Date:
February 15, 2008
Source:
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new rapid, portable and inexpensive detection system that identifies personal exposures to toxic lead and other dangerous heavy metals. The device can provide accurate measurements from blood as well as in urine and saliva samples.

PNNL scientist Wassana Yantasee demonstrates the compact and field-portable biomonitoring device (foreground), which produces rapid, accurate results equivalent to state-of-the-art mass spectrometry systems (back) from small fluid samples.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a new rapid, portable and inexpensive detection system that identifies personal exposures to toxic lead and other dangerous heavy metals. The device can provide an accurate blood sample measurement from a simple finger prick, which is particularly important when sampling children.

PNNL's portable analyzer system accurately detects lead and other toxic metals in blood as well as in urine and saliva. Results are as reliable as those of current state-of-the-art mass spectrometry systems many times its size. This new system provides a quicker, simpler and easier method of monitoring toxic metal exposures in high-risk populations, such as industrial workers, children and people living in polluted areas.

A bit larger than a lunchbox, the new detection system is field-deployable with plug-and-play features that allow different sensors to be easily exchanged to detect a variety of heavy metal toxins. The entire system is battery-operated and requires about one and one-half times the power of a typical laptop computer. The system also routinely delivers reliable measurements within a rapid two-to-five minute analysis period.

Early production cost estimates indicate that the device may be as much as 10 times less expensive than existing plasma mass spectrometry systems, which lack field portability and require samples to be returned to the lab for time-consuming and more expensive analysis.

Accumulation of lead in children can harm the developing brain, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems, among other things. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 310,000 U.S. children ages 1 to 5 have high levels of lead in their blood. Recent studies also indicate a link between lead exposure and a decline in mental ability many years later.

Recent attention to children's exposure to lead from toys and products from the Far East has heightened the interest in toxic exposures to heavy metals. The ability to quickly and accurately identify children with elevated blood lead levels is important in providing treatment to those who need it. In addition, large numbers of industrial workers may be routinely exposed to toxic heavy metals like cadmium, lead and mercury, which are known to induce various diseases.

"We need next-generation analyzers to reduce the time and lower the costs of analysis for clinical diagnosis," said PNNL scientist and principal investigator Wassana Yantasee. "They will help us better understand the relationship between the exposure to these toxins and how the body responds, which will help in developing new strategies to reduce exposures and risks."

"Our research has focused on optimizing the sensor systems to work with the biological complexities in blood, urine and saliva samples," said Yantasee. "Validation of these sensor platforms for use in biomonitoring is particularly important in developing a personalized exposure assessment strategy."

The device can use two classes of sensors for detecting lead and other heavy metals. The first is based on a flow injection system using a mercury-film electrode to analyze metals in blood, urine or saliva samples.

To eliminate the use of toxic mercury in conducting the analysis, the second class of the sensor uses a mercury-free approach of nanostructure materials developed at PNNL. This involves use of either Self-Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports - SAMMS™ technology - or functionalized magnetic nanoparticles that provide excellent detection sensitivity at a parts-per-billion level.

PNNL's research is supported by extramural grants from the CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Battelle, which operates PNNL for DOE, filed a patent application in December 2007 for the improved sensor technology used in this next-generation biomonitoring device. Battelle is seeking commercialization partners and welcomes companies interested in the technology to contact Commercialization Manager Bruce Harrer or access Portable Electrochemical Sensing System for more information.

References: Direct detection of Pb in urine and Cd, Pb, Cu, and Ag in natural waters using electrochemical sensors immobilized with DMSA functionalized magnetic nanoparticles - Yantasee W, Hongsirikarn K et al. The Analyst. 2008. http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/AN/article.asp?doi=b711199a

Next Generation of Personal Exposure Biomonitors - Yantasee W, Lin Y et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2007. http://www.ehponline.org/members/2007/10190/10190.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "New Sensor System Improves Detection Of Lead, Heavy Metals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212141706.htm>.
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (2008, February 15). New Sensor System Improves Detection Of Lead, Heavy Metals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212141706.htm
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "New Sensor System Improves Detection Of Lead, Heavy Metals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212141706.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins