Researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil have developed a portable, flexible copper sensor to detect heavy metals such as lead and cadmium in sweat. High levels of heavy metals in the body can lead to serious health problems.
The sensor is made of simple, cost-effective materials, including flexible conductive copper tape, an adhesive label with a three-electrode electrochemical system design, and a protective layer of nail polish or spray. The working electrode is decorated with bismuth micro/nanodentrites using an electrodeposition technique. The sensor showed excellent performance in detecting lead and cadmium in a linear range from 2.0 μM to 50 μM with good reproducibility and repeatability.
The sensor can be used by non-specialists without training, providing a low-cost alternative to current methods of detecting heavy metals in body fluids. The sensor has potential applications in wearable healthcare systems and portable sensors to detect toxic metals in biological samples. The device is also useful in environmental management situations, such as monitoring the quality of water from artesian wells.
Reference: de Campos AM, Silva RR, Calegaro ML, Raymundo-Pereira PA. Design and Fabrication of Flexible Copper Sensor Decorated with Bismuth Micro/Nanodentrites to Detect Lead and Cadmium in Noninvasive Samples of Sweat. Chemosensors. 2022; 10(11):446. https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors10110446
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