Chemical warfare agents such as sarin are highly toxic, and detection of even trace levels is important. Using a hydrogel film containing a built-in two-dimensional chemical potential gradient, we demonstrate the detection of a sarin simulant under conditions potentially as low as a level 1 (6.90 × 10-9 mg/cm3 for 10 min) Acute Exposure Guideline Level sarin exposure. Specifically, the sarin simulant diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is aerosol-deposited on a hydrogel film containing a built-in ionic chemical gradient and the enzyme, diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase). DFPase degrades the DFP, releasing fluoride ions. The fluoride ions are then concentrated by the gradient to a miniature electrochemical sensor embedded in the hydrogel providing a 30-fold amplification of the fluoride ion signal, which is an indication of exposure to DFP, relative to a gradient-free system. This method is general for agents which hydrolyze into chemically detectable ionic species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)