Skip to main content

T-00229: A Field-Portable Sensor for the Rapid Diagnosis of Cyanide Poisoning


Cyanide is often used in chemical manufacturing, mainly for the production of plastics and fibers, and is commonly a component of smoke from building fires. Exposure to Cyanide may be lethal, but Cyanide poisoning is difficult to rapidly diagnose. In fact, the clinical standard method for Cyanide diagnosis takes 24 hours, long after Cyanide therapeutics can be effectively used.


SDSU researchers have developed a novel field-portable sensor for rapid cyanide analysis from biological fluids. The device features a sample preparation cartridge consisting of two chambers enabling rapid extraction of Cyanide from biological fluids. The cyanide is extracted into a capture cell and reacted to form a fluorescent product which is detected by an optical detection system.


The field-portable cyanide analyzer can provide rapid (<1 minute), sensitive diagnosis of cyanide exposure. The device provides the sensitivity of fluorescence and the simplicity of the micro-diffusion design. The device is also portable (approximately the size of a toddler shoebox and a weight of approximately 20 ounces) for use in a variety of settings.