Fast, Economical, and Convenient Heavy Metal Contamination Detection

Technology Description


This technology describes an accurate, inexpensive, simple, and portable membrane-based lateral flow fluidic device, made with both patented and patent pending technologies, to detect copper at concentrations as low as 0.5 ppm. No pre-treatment of the raw sample is needed. With simple modifications, this method can be adapted to detect other targets at similar or better sensitivity.


Features & Benefits


  • Simple and rapid analysis requiring no training or specific instruments
  • Eliminates interferences at minimal cost while remaining insensitive to temperature, humidity, sample turbidity, and pH
  • Patented and patent pending fabrication method
  • Scalable fabrication technique adaptable to other chemistries




  • Copper detection in tap water, river water, and waste water without sample preparation


Background of Invention


Microfluidic devices have grown in popularity as tools to accomplish rapid, inexpensive analytical measurements. The quality of these devices and their range of applicability are highly dependent upon the method of fabrication, materials of manufacture, and the chemistry integrated into them. It is beneficial to have simple assay chemistries such that these devices will be inexpensive, easy to produce, and easy to use. One of the major challenges in adapting a simple chemical assay into a microfluidic format is elimination of interferences to enable element specific detection. Such processes usually require one or more of the following: pre-treatment of the sample, highly specific assay chemistries, and specific detection mechanisms/instruments, all of which make the process more complicated, expensive, and challenging to adapt to a low-cost microfluidic platform. Here we have invented a simple chromatographic separation approach on a lateral flow microfluidic channel to radically minimize interferences in measurements of a variety of heavy metal targets.




Patent pending and available for exclusive license



Left to Right: Gayan C. Bandara, Christopher A. Heist, Vincent T. Remcho



Patent Information:
Tech ID:
Joe Christison
Assistant Director, IP & Licensing
Oregon State University
Gayan Bandara
Christopher Heist
Vincent Remcho
Chemical Reaction Process
Environmental Remediation
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