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:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , ... Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary ... Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate the ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... provide their customers enhanced security to access and ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... can be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system ... in the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface ... requirements of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions ... the ID readers into the building installations offer considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the ... treatment or cure. , Through numerous community events held during the month of May, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... India , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (DNA Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene Expression) ... End user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), Fabrication ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... from USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, growing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... announced the addition of Dr. Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. ... she served as Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh ... The Woodlands, Texas , now offers ... of treated fat cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a ... 90 percent of Americans report feeling bothered by excess ... reduction procedures are a growing industry. This innovative new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: