A team of researchers at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali, has developed an ultra-sensitive, easy-to-use sensor for detecting arsenic contamination in water and food samples in 15 minutes.
The developed sensor is highly sensitive, selective, involves a single step, and is applicable for various water and food samples. The developed sensor can be easily operated by a common man by just correlating the colour change (on sensor surface) with the standard labels.
Developed on mixed metal (cobalt/molybdenum) based metal-organic frameworks, it can detect a wide range of arsenic- from 0.05 ppb to 1000 ppm.
In the case of paper and colorimetric sensors, the colour of the Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) changes from purple to blue after interaction with arsenic. The intensity of the blue colour increases with an increase in the concentration of arsenic.
It has been tested successfully for the fabrication of spectroscopic as well as paper-based tools for testing Arsenic in groundwater, rice extract, and plum juice.
Identification of arsenic before consumption of water and food is imperative to protect common man from the possible health issues associated with arsenic. However, none of the existing methods of detection can be easily used by the common man.