Florida International University (FIU) has recently developed a new technology, which makes environmental, biological, and toxicological sampling and testing faster, cheaper, and more sensitive. Validated independently, this new technology will disrupt the multi-billion dollar industry. FIU’s executive vice president and provost, Kenneth G. Furton, and Abuzar Kabir, skilled in materials chemistry in Colleges of Arts, Sciences and Education, paved a way for improving labour- and time-intensive sample preparation such as urine, blood, water, and milk.
FIU’s “Fabric Phase Sorptive Extraction” to Replace Existing Sample Preparation Techniques
This new environment-friendly approach, called “fabric phase sorptive extraction”, has replaced available methods for sample preparation. At present, testing an illicit drug in a pollutant or urine requires a multi-step process which needs expensive devices and toxic solvents. Based on the sample’s chemical and physical properties, achieving required component level extraction usually takes longer than a day, excluding time needed for actual chemical testing.
Utilising this procedure, the blood test results could be delivered in hours, instead of days, to customers. For athletes, results for tests on controlled substances could be delivered even before the competition commences. Drinking water quality could be monitored more accurately for presence of toxic chemicals or cancer-causing agents. The base for FIU’s portfolio of completely new chemical coatings is this new material for sample preparation- composite utilising same muslin cotton as that of apparel. A unique sol-gel coating was applied by FIU’s team of researchers to several postage stamp-size watches, putting them directly in contact with myriad air and liquid samples.
FIU’s New Sample Preparation Method to Improve Test Result Conclusiveness & Reduce Chances for False Negatives
Kabir stated that they were shocked from this result. Every targeted component was extracted within 15 minutes, in a quantity which was suitable for analysis. This new sample preparation technology, according to Kabir, offers unprecedented simplicity, power, and benefits. FIU extraction technique absorbs comparatively larger amount of components than methods that are commercially available. This helps in improving test result conclusiveness and reducing chances for false negatives. This method eliminates utilisation of solvents that are toxic to environment.
Florida International University has acquired a patent for this invention, and is further focusing on commercialising the technology to be adopted widely in variety of applications. This innovative technique has already been validated by researchers from over 30 U.S. as well as foreign universities. Leading experts in chemical testing have been convinced by these findings that this technology must replace the existing sample preparation techniques.