An innovative musical sensor that detects counterfeit drugs could be particularly useful in remote or impoverished regions.
The sensor, developed by a team from the University of California, is based on the design of the mbira, a musical instrument that makes notes when its plates are plucked.
The sensor is made up of a tube bent in a U shape and mounted to a wooden board. When the tube is plucked, it will emit a different frequency based on the density of the liquid inside it (water creates an F sharp). Mixing different chemicals in the water will result in varying densities, which in turn create their own unique notes. By comparing the note generated by the test chemical to the proven note in a smartphone database, counterfeit medicines can be detected.