A new portable water testing device for heavy metals mimics the natural process of the human body.
An organic substance called a chelating agent circulates in the bloodstream to bind to heavy metal ions and mark them for excretion from the body.
Building on this natural ability, the prototype device by a team from Nanyang Technological University relies on an optical fiber sensor that has been coating with a chelating agent. As heavy metal ions in a water sample bind to the sensor, it shifts the spectrum of a laser light that is beamed through the fiber. That shift in light is then analyzed by a microprocessor to identify the amount and type of metal coating the sensor. The procedure takes about five minutes and can identify lead in amounts as small as five parts per billion. The spinoff company Waterply will commercialize the technology.
More Info about this Invention: