Organophosphate nerve agents can be deadly weapons. Farmers wear protective gear when applying organophosphate pesticides. These substances are found to be very effective at getting rid of unwanted bugs and they can also make people sick.
A research team has recently developed a fast way to detect the presence of compounds in the field by using a disposable 'lab-on-a-glove.'
The report was published in the journal ACS Sensors.
The new wearable, flexible glove biosensor carries out the sampling and electrochemical biosensing steps on different fingers, with the thumb finger used for collecting the nerve-agent residues and an enzyme immobilized on the index finger. The researchers created stretchable inks to print the collection and sensing elements on these fingers.
Detection of the collected residues is performed when the thumb touches the printed enzyme-based organophosphate biosensor on the glove index finger. So, a user would swipe the thumb of the glove on a surface for testing, then touch the thumb and index fingers together for the electrochemical analysis. For real-time results, the voltammetric data are sent via a reusable Bluetooth device on the back of the glove to a user's mobile device.
Testing showed that the glove could detect organophosphate pesticides methyl parathion and methyl paraoxon on various surfaces including glass, wood and plastic and on produce. The researchers say the sensor could be used in both security and food safety settings.