Handheld Test Determines Water Safety From A Single Drop

July 29, 2020
Platform can sense 17 different contaminants.

A new technology diagnoses water safety within minutes by analyzing just a single drop of water, according to an article from Technology Networks. Researchers at Northwestern University developed the handheld platform – likened to a pregnancy test – which renders an easy-to-read positive or negative result when it encounters a contaminant that exceeds EPA standards. According to the article, the device can sense 17 different contaminants.

Currently, water samples are sent to a centralized lab where it may take weeks to get results and can cost up to $150, says Northwestern's Julius Lucks, who led the study. The newly developed technology, which uses synthetic biology to detect pollutants, would allow anyone to directly test their water and determine contamination in minutes. The tests could be administered after natural disasters to determine the safety of drinking water or for detecting heavy metals that leach into pipes, personal care products that end up in waterways and unused pharmaceuticals and agricultural herbicides that run off into water.

Read the entire article here.

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