Disposable uranium ion detector developed

Feb 13, 2007

U.S. scientists have developed a disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions with a sensitivity rivaling more sophisticated lab instruments.

University of Illinois researchers say their sensor provides a fast, on-site test for assessing uranium contamination in the environment and the effectiveness of remediation strategies.

"A unique feature of our uranium sensor is that it contains a small piece of DNA, the same basic building blocks of our genes," said chemistry Professor Yi Lu, senior author of the study. "Our sensor combines the high metal ion selectivity of catalytic DNA with the high sensitivity of fluorescence detection."

Lu, with collaborators at Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assembled the uranium ion detector and tested it on soils containing varying amounts of uranium. With a sensitivity of 11 parts per trillion, the new sensor rivaled the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments.

The study has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is posted on the journal's Web site.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Custom tailoring robotic exoskeletons that fit to perfection

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Disposable sensor uses DNA to detect hazardous uranium ions

Feb 14, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory ...

Big chill sets in as RHIC physics heats up

Feb 04, 2014

If you think it's been cold outside this winter, that's nothing compared to the deep freeze setting in at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the early-universe-recreating "atom smasher" at the U.S. ...

Recommended for you

Modular disability aids for world's poorest

Jan 28, 2015

Brunel University London design engineering student Cara O'Sullivan's final year project aims to help developing countries make their own disability aids using modular components.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.