Background: Ultratrace (≤ low pg/mL concentrations) analysis of analytes is useful in many applications, but is currently difficult. For example, monitoring of drinking water for toxic chemicals (e.g., nitrosodimethyl amine) at ultralow, but still harmful, concentrations is extremely important for human health. An applicable ultratrace analysis technology would have applications in both laboratory and commercial settings.
Description: SDSU researchers have invented a technology that could achieve routine ultratrace analysis. It combines the power of two conventional analytical technologies and achieves a sensitivity that is greater than either individually or predicted when combined. A prototype instrument has already been built to test the theory and was able to detect analytes in the pg/mL range within a short time frame using only minimal instrument setup. This instrument can be easily scaled to achieve much more sensitive analysis. The technology is easy to adopt and implement and the result is very reliable.
Advantages: This technology combines the strength of two conventional technologies and overcomes their limitations. It’s simple to understand and easy to adopt. It’s fully customizable, can be easily scaled up or down depending on the needs of customer. The researchers are currently working on instrumentation to decrease the analysis time and allow analysis of multiple samples at once, allowing a customer the ability to test multiple samples in a rapid fashion. The final product could be used in any setting in which aqueous samples, including multiple samples, need ultratrace analysis.