Test & Measurement

'Lab-on-a-Glove' Tech Brings Nerve Agent Detection to User's Fingertips


Organophosphate pesticides are very effective at getting rid of unwanted pests, but they can also make people very sick. Related compounds (organophosphate nerve agents) can be used as deadly weapons. Now, researchers from the University of California San Diego have developed a quick way to detect the presence of these compounds in the field using a disposable 'lab-on-a-glove.' The wearable glove biosensor carries out the sampling and electrochemical biosensing steps on different fingers, with the thumb finger used for collecting the nerve-agent residues and an enzyme immobilized on the index finger. The researchers created stretchable inks to print the collection and sensing elements on these fingers. Detection of the collected residues is performed when the thumb touches the printed enzyme-based organophosphate biosensor on the glove index finger. A user swipes the thumb of the glove on a surface for testing, then touches the thumb and index fingers together for an electrochemical analysis.