Development of a Hand-held Trace Metal Analyzer

Period of Performance: 09/01/2000 - 04/30/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tracedetect, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98103
Principal Investigator


The development of a hand-held instrument utilizing disposable nanoband sensors is proposed. Preliminary testing of a benchtop prototype developed at OC Technologies using repolishable nanoband electrodes has demonstrated the ability to measure Zn, Cd, Pb, and Hg with sensitivities of 50 ppb in a ten second measurement. Sensitivities exceeding 100 ppt are possible with measurement times of five minutes. The Phase I effort will focus on the development of disposable Nano- Band sensors and a hand-held electrochemical system. Nano-Band sensors are 150 times more efficient than microdisk electrodes when used for anodic stripping analysis and the ability to fabricate disposable sensors provides the enabling technology for a low-cost hand-held trace metal analysis system that is able to use existing protocols for the determination of toxic metals in a variety of fluids including water, blood, and urine. The Phase I effort will result in a hand-held prototype system capable of 100 ppt sensitivity in under five minutes. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The need for hand-held instrumentation capable of rapid on-site detection of trace metals in a variety of sample matrices is vase and so the market potential for such an analyzer is large encompassing both US and Foreign markets. Examples include on-site analysis of blood and urine, on-site analysis of contaminated sites, and rapid assessment of processes for industrial control.