University of Illinois at Chicago
BOSELLI-THESIS-2018.pdf (1.94 MB)

ECHeMA :ElectroChemical Sensors for Heavy Metal Analysis in Point of Care Applications

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posted on 2018-11-28, 00:00 authored by Elena Boselli
Healthcare monitoring still lacks of point-of-care (POC) devices for heavy metal detection in human blood. Gold standard techniques currently employed – (AAS) atomic absorption spectroscopy and (ICP-MS) inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry - require voluminous and expensive equipments, specialized personnel and large sample volumes to perform the analysis. These characteristics make them unfeasible for on-the-field applications[1,2]. On the other side, electrochemical detection of heavy metals can be pursued with cost effective, disposable sensors and little amount of volumes. Lead (Pb) and Manganese (Mn) levels are worth to be monitored as target toxicant metals. Reasons for this assumption include their increasing presence in the environment associated to human activities and their severe impairment on the central nervous system (CNS) even at low exposure levels. Commercially available electrochemical sensors featuring gold (Au) working electrodes (WE) are applied for quantitative identification of lead (Pb) via square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) , whereas the same devices with platinum (Pt) electrodes are analyzed for manganese evaluation through square wave cathodic stripping voltammetry (SWCSV). Despite all the efforts made by several research groups in environmental samples, little has yet been done on real human blood. Successful preliminary tests on human blood samples are achieved for lead determination and the right path for manganese has been traced. The ease of fabrication through well developed techniques and cost effectiveness of the sensors and the ability of handling small amount of volumes (droplets of 10μL) for each measurement make this approach a viable way for effective on-the-field application. In the next future its integration with microfluidic devices for sample preparation will bring to reality the dream for portable ‘metallometers



Papautsky, Ian


Papautsky, Ian



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Masters

Committee Member

Eddington, David Carminati, Marco

Submitted date

August 2018

Issue date


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