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Graphene based Nanosensor Device for Rapid Onsite Detection of Dissolved Lead in Tap Water

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41ES028656-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41ES028656
Amount: $194,635.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIEHS
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-08-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-07-31
Small Business Information
3200 N CRAMER ST EMS UNIT W170
Milwaukee, WI 53211-3029
United States
DUNS: 830626565
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 GANHUA LU
 (414) 975-0212
 ganhualu@gmail.com
Business Contact
 JUNHONG CHEN
Phone: (414) 243-3142
Email: jhchen2009@gmail.com
Research Institution
 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MILWAUKEE
 
PO BOX 340
MILWAUKEE, WI 53201-0340
United States

 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract

PROJECT SUMMARY
There is an increasing public concern about monitoring water quality in the entire drinking water supply system especially
at the point of use spurred by recent water catastrophes such as the one in Flint Michigan that has caused severe health
issues for thousands of children due to the unsafe level of lead in contaminated drinking water Current quantitative detection
methods for aqueous lead are often laboratory based and are too expensive and time consuming unsuitable for end water
users to perform fast and onsite detection This project aims to investigate the feasibility of a handheld device for real time
onsite detection of toxic lead in tap water The device integrates a novel micro sized sensor chip built upon a graphene gold
nanoparticle sensing platform with a portable digital signal meter for direct readout of testing results This project intends
to address the need for quantitative real time in situ detection of total dissolved lead ions in tap water by developing a
sensitive specific fast portable and cost effective prototype handheld device that can be self administered without any
special training
Major innovations of the project lie in the use of an aqueous sensing platform with superior sensing performance i e high
sensitivity excellent selectivity and fast response under laboratory environment and in field settings and the combination
of the sensor with a digital meter for direct display of testing results in tens of seconds The sensing platform consists of a
multifunctional hybrid nanostructure i e graphene as the sensing signal transduction channel and the support for gold
nanoparticles functionalized with chemical probes which is capable of differentiating lead ions from other aqueous ions
e g calcium and magnesium through specific coupling events between the lead ion and the specially chosen chemical
probe i e glutathione on the gold nanoparticle surface Specific research aims of the project are to Determine the
influence of pH value on the sensor performance so that sensing results can be interpreted properly Develop a model to
estimate the total dissolved lead based on the measurement of free lead ion concentration in water and implement this model
in the handheld device for reporting total dissolved lead concentration in water Study how potential interfering species
in tap water e g disinfection by products affect the sensing behavior of the handheld device and to identify possible
strategies to minimize the undesirable interference The technical and commercial feasibility of the handheld device and
associated technology will be determined for future development and commercialization
The proposed activities will improve the sensing reliability and device integrity maximizing the commercialization
opportunities of the device The availability of the device contributes to safeguarding the public drinking water safety as
this innovative sensing technology permits fast onsite test of lead ions in water supply systems particularly at the point of
use The framework of the device is also expandable with the potential to serve as the basis to build a sensing network for
real time water quality monitoring of the entire drinking water system enhancing the public drinking water safety PROJECT NARRATIVE
The project aims to develop a handheld device for real time onsite detection of toxic lead in tap water Lead can accumulate
in the human bodyandapos s soft tissue and bones cause poisoning and disrupt body processes and is toxic to many internal organs
The primary source for lead in most drinking water supply stems from the leaching of lead from lead bearing pipes in a
water distribution system or the household plumbing fixtures Catalyzed by the unfortunate Flint Water Crisis there is
increasing public demand on water quality monitoring in the entire drinking water supply system from the water treatment
plant to the tap at the point of use Current quantitative detection methods for aqueous lead are mostly laboratory based
and are too expensive and time consuming unsuitable for end water users to perform fast and onsite detection This project
will contribute to enhancing the public health by providing water users with a handheld device for real time onsite
monitoring of lead in tap water

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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