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Science And Nature

Marker Tip–Without Ink!–Makes a Hardy Medical Sampler

The marker material conserved samples for weekly

Credit: Thomas Fuchs

Physicist Igor Popov and his team at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology bought replacement tips, made to hold inks for long stretches without drying, which are used in a favorite commercial marker. After soaking these highly porous tips in blood or saliva spiked with the painkiller acetaminophen, the researchers successfully tested their MacGyvered samplers to recognize the drug and determine its concentrationeven after a week of room temperature storage. Popov says such samplers works best for tests to detect drugs and hormones that not breakdown quickly. This technology could possibly be utilized for medical investigations in difficult conditions, such as for example facilities a long way away from large cities, he adds. The tool’s use is detailed in Acta Astronautica and in Molecules.

Another potential implementation: space travel. Popov says samplers used to check astronauts face to face should be compact, lightweight and usable without interval training. Samples must be easily storable for go back to Earth; space station astronauts currently use vials that use up valuable freezer space.

The marker idea is really a new application I’ve never seen for this function before, says University of SC chemist Susan Richardson, who was simply not mixed up in study. She adds that future research should test just how long compounds of interest remain viable in fluids such as for example saliva, which can host microorganisms that degrade them.

Next the researchers will compare various marker types to see which qualities donate to better sample storagetesting nibs of each composition, size and shape.

This short article was originally published with the title “Marker Magic” in Scientific American 327, 1, 13 (July 2022)

doi: 10.1038/scientificamerican0722-13



    Maddie Bender is really a science writer and podcaster located in Boston, Mass. Follow her on Twitter @MaddieOBenderCredit: Nick Higgins.


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