At the heart of the NanoAffix testing system is an electronic sensing platform that detects various contaminants in water or air. These contaminants include analytes, such as heavy metal ions, bacteria, and nutrients.
The technology is based on the unique properties of the graphene. Graphene is highly conductive and very sensitive to surface changes that occur when target analytes form chemical bonds. Therefore, the presence of the contaminants can be measured by monitoring changes in conductivity after the contaminants bind to the surface of the sensor. Preliminary results have shown that the sensors can detect ions as low as 0.2 ppb, well below the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 15 ppb defined by the EPA. Most importantly, the platform responds to lead in seconds, which is promising for real-time monitoring of water quality.
The utilization of nanotechnology and graphene provides advantages compared to other devices. It enables a robust and simple device structure with rapid, sensitive, and selective detection. This breakthrough technology allows real-time detection with minimal sample preparation and unprecedented sensitivity and specificity for field-testing (outside a laboratory facility), for point-of-use testing, and for continuous monitoring (e.g., integrated into existing water equipment).