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Researchers created a special ultrathin chemical sensor spun from gold

Author: Lillian Tong
by Lillian Tong
Posted: Aug 01, 2022

A new type of Raman chemical sensor is made of noodles like gold wire

Researchers have created a special ultra-thin sensor, spun from gold, which can be directly attached to the skin without irritation or discomfort. The sensor can measure different biomarkers or substances to perform on-body chemical analysis. Its working principle is to use a technology called Raman spectroscopy, that is, the laser for the sensor will slightly change according to any chemical substances on the skin at this time. The sensor can be fine tuned to extremely high sensitivity and has enough robustness for practical use.

Wearable technology is nothing new. Maybe you or someone you know is wearing a smart watch. Many of these instruments can monitor some health problems, such as heart rate, but at present they cannot measure chemical characteristics, which may be useful for medical diagnosis. Smart watches or more professional medical monitors are also relatively bulky and often quite expensive. Because of these shortcomings, researchers from the Department of chemistry at the University of Tokyo formed a team. They sought a new method to perceive various health conditions and environmental problems in a non-invasive, cost-effective way.

"A few years ago, I found a fascinating way to make strong and stretchable electronic components from another research group at the University of Tokyo," said Liu Limei, a visiting scholar who conducted the study at that time and currently a lecturer at Yangzhou University in China. "These devices are spun from ultra-fine thread and coated with gold, so they can be attached to the skin without any problem, because gold will not react with the skin or stimulate the skin. However, as sensors, they are limited to detecting movement, and we are looking for something that can sense chemical characteristics, biomarkers and drugs. Therefore, we have created a non-invasive sensor based on this idea, which goes beyond It meets our expectations and inspires us to explore ways to further improve its functionality. "

The main component of the sensor is a fine gold net, because gold does not react, which means that when it comes into contact with substances that the research team wants to measure, such as potential disease biomarkers in sweat, it will not chemically change the substance. However, because the golden net is very fine, it can provide a surprisingly large surface for biomarkers, which is where other components of the sensor work. When the low-power laser is aimed at the golden net, part of the laser is absorbed and part is reflected. Most of the reflected light has the same energy as the incident light. However, some incident light will lose energy to biomarkers or other measurable substances, and the energy difference between reflected light and incident light is unique to the substance in question. A sensor called a spectrometer can use this unique energy fingerprint to identify this substance. This chemical identification method is called Raman spectroscopy.

Assistant Professor xiaotinghui said, "at present, our sensors need to be fine tuned to detect specific substances. We hope to further improve the sensitivity and specificity in the future." "With it, we believe that blood glucose monitoring, the ideal application of diabetes patients, and even virus detection are possible."

Professor Keisuke Goda said, "in addition to Raman spectroscopy, the sensor may also cooperate with other chemical analysis methods, such as electrochemical analysis, but all these ideas need more research." "Anyway, I hope this research can bring a new generation of low-cost biosensors, which can completely change health monitoring and reduce the economic burden of health care."

About the Author

ECHEMI is a chemical supply chain service company headquartered in Hong Kong, providing chemical raw materials supply, research and analysis, marketing, distribution, logistics, E-commerce and after-sales services.

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Author: Lillian Tong

Lillian Tong

Member since: Jun 26, 2022
Published articles: 25

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