Scientists have invented a rapid method for detecting toxic nitrobenzene. It can contaminate honey and other popular foods.
Scientists from the Ural Federal University named after the first president of Russia B. N. Yeltsin (Ural Federal University), together with employees of the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have created a system for the rapid detection of nitrobenzene.
Nitrobenzene is widely used in various industrial processes. Due to the pleasant almond scent of this chemical and the slow action of its vapors, its toxic properties have not been universally recognized. But the compound showed carcinogenic and mutagenic effects.
Today, most of the methods for searching for nitrobenzene in products require a lot of equipment, so it will not be possible to quickly find out the results on the spot. The authors of the work decided to create a portable express analogue that would be mobile and convenient.
The sensitivity and accuracy of such analyzers is determined by the structure of the recognizer – the so-called receptor layer. As a rule, it consists of enzymes, universal biological catalysts, which, along with some advantages, have a high cost and low chemical stability.
Alisa Kozitsina, Director of the Innovation Center for Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technologies, UrFU
Scientists have created a synthetic receptor as a replacement for enzyme-based systems and made a prototype of a portable analyzer based on it. It works on the principle of using organic compounds of the diazine class – these are substances that can selectively interact with nitrobenzene: they pull it out of the analyzed sample onto the electrode of the electrochemical sensor.
The result is, according to the authors, a sensitive method for the determination of nitrobenzene, which does not require a lot of resources for sample preparation.
Unlike optical spectral analyzers currently used to search for nitrobenzene, electrochemical sensors are miniature, easy to manufacture, and require an ultra-small amount of the analyzed product. Our recognition system and the prototype of an electrochemical sensor have no direct analogues in the world.
Tatiana Svalova, Associate Professor, UrFU