Navigation Links
Prototype NIST method detects and measures elusive hazards
Date:9/9/2009

A chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has demonstrated a relatively simple, inexpensive method for detecting and measuring elusive hazards such as concealed explosives and toxins, invisible spoilage in food or pesticides distributed in soil by wind and rain. The prototype method is more sensitive than conventional techniques for detecting traces of these materials, which are polarlike water molecules, having distinct electrically positive and negative endsand do not readily evaporate.

As described in a new paper,* NIST researcher Tom Bruno enhanced a technique called "headspace analysis," which is the detection and analysis of trace levels of chemical compounds from a solid or liquid that are released into the surrounding atmosphere. Bruno's enhancements greatly improve the efficiency of sample collection, for the first time making the technique suitable for detecting low concentrations of polar, low-volatility, compounds such as explosives. Preliminary results indicate the method is sensitive enough to measure amounts of target materials that constitute as little as 0.0000002 percent of a sample.

The sample collection device consists of several coils of fine tubing just 0.32 millimeters in inner diameter. Bruno modified the inner coating, which efficiently attracts and retains chemicals across its large surface area. The device can be used with a sample-heating oven as part of a laboratory analysis system or taken into the field for sample collection. To extract target molecules from a sample, the coil is placed inside an insulated cylinder and chilled with a cold air stream to minus 40 degrees Celsius. A gas, such as helium, is swept across the sample held in the oven or the coil device, gathering up target molecules along the way, and through the fine tubing. Chilling the coilspart of Bruno's innovationmakes collection of target molecules more efficient. The tubing is washed with a solvent, or heated, to release the captured molecules for analysis.

Bruno found that the mass of the collected molecules increases with rising oven and sweep gas temperatures, offering a way to detect specific target molecules under particular field conditions. NIST researchers demonstrated the new method using several explosives, including the pure explosive TNT and the plastic explosive mixture C-4. Among other applications, NIST researchers have used the method to improve sampling and analysis of fire retardants in a car interior, a topic of interest because of concerns expressed by some that the "new car smell" may be a health hazard. They also are using the method to detect volatile protein decomposition products in spoiled meats. Environmental applications could include detection of pesticides deposited on soils subject to weathering effects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Prototype terahertz imager promises biochem advances
2. Researcher says microchannels could advance tissue engineering methods
3. Carnegie Mellon develops innovative method to detect genetic causes of complex diseases
4. Methods for gene transfer in stem cells featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
5. Researchers develop brain-reading methods
6. NTU professor discovers method to efficiently produce less toxic drugs using organic molecules
7. New biomarker method could increase the number of diagnostic tests for cancer
8. Energy-saving method checks refrigerant level in air conditioners
9. Improved method developed to test carcinogen risk
10. Infant formula adulteration with melamine underscores need for better detection methods
11. UBC researchers develop new method to study gambling addictions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Summary ... better understand Merck KGaA and its partnering interests and ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/3605601/ Description The Partnering Deals and Alliance ... partnering activity of one of the world,s leading life ... prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of the most ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Australian stem ... (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement with the ... the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology ... conduct a further preclinical study to support the use ... of asthma.  Asthma is a chronic, ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... --  Acuant , a leading provider of data capture ... new and core technologies building upon the acquisition of ... desktop Acuant FRM TM facial recognition and match ... manual review of identity documents by accredited professionals. ... most accurate capture software to streamline workflows by securely ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, ... its newest member. David Cox , PhD, Vice ... ), will serve as his company,s representative on ... have Ipsen and Dr. Cox join NPC as members," ... their insights in helping us identify and address health ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... LabKey and collaborator Just Biotherapeutics, ... solution, LabKey Biologics . Built in collaboration with Just and designed with ... provides drug research teams tools for biological entity registration, assay data integration, and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Sciences Inc. (OTCQB: REPCF) (TSXV: RP) (FRA:P6P2) ("RepliCel" or the ... from its phase 1/2 tendon repair study investigating the use ... a treatment for Achilles tendinosis. ... The clinical trial met its ... and showed no serious adverse events related to the study ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... to accelerating the fight against cancer, autoimmune disease and more through a single-cell ... single-cell metabolomics and proteomics analysis platform developed in the laboratory of Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: