Organophosphates are toxic chemicals used as pesticides in agricultural practice and as nerve agents in biological warfare. Exposure to organophosphates can cause severe illness or death if appropriate safety measures are not taken. Rapid and accurate point-of-use detection of organophosphate pesticides or nerve agents would improve security in both food safety and defense scenarios.
A recent study published in the journal ACS Sensors describes a novel flexible, wearable, disposable glove-based biosensor that detects organophosphate compounds in real-time. The glove biosensor enables sampling and electrochemical biosensing of suspicious surfaces using different gloved fingers, which contain either a collection or sensing element printed using flexible ink. The thumb is used for sampling, whereas the index finger is equipped with an electrochemical organophosphate biosensor. When the thumb and index fingers are brought into contact, an enzyme-based electrochemical analysis is performed and the results sent to the user’s mobile device using Bluetooth technology.
The current study provides proof of principle that the glove-based system is capable of detecting organophosphate pesticides on produce, plastic, glass and wood. These findings open up exciting possibilities for a variety of food and defense applications.
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