Swedish Professor Impressed By Nervegas Detector Developed In Singapore

Jonas Bergquist gives the thump up to a nervegas detector developed in Singapore. It´s a microfluidic device that can identify exposure to nerve gas. The device could help identify individuals in need of treatment at sites of terrorist attack, such as the 1995 Tokyo subway attack. The device can quickly distinguish the genuinely exposed individuals requiring treatment from the many people who may fear that they have been exposed.
The chip that can detect traces of sarin and related neurotoxins in a small drop of blood has been developed by Nam-Trung Nguyen at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and colleagues at DSO National Laboratories, Singapore.
“Our device integrates an entire protocol for the detection of trace amounts of nerve gas agents in blood. One of the challenges is using whole blood as the sample – the device needs to handle several tasks, from blood sample preparation to final optical detection,” says Nguyen.
“The device can also be used to detect organophosphorus insecticides, so it could find further applications for occupational hygiene in agriculture,” adds Nguyen.
Jonas Bergquist, prof. in analytical chemicals / neuro chemicals studies chip-based blood analysis at Uppsala University in Sweden, says he is impressed with the number of steps integrated into the device. He points out that the next step would be to remove the need for an external detector.
“It’s a problem not many people have solved yet, but for a first screen device, it would be nice to have something easily detected [by eye], like a colour change,” the Swedish professor said.

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