Our Research Development of transduction methods for the detection of arsenic in water

Water and the sign for Arsenic in the periodic table



Can we establish the chemical basis for a new method of detection for trace arsenic in drinking water? 

Research Strategy

  • Develop a robust new selective, sensitive, and inexpensive detection method for waterborne arsenic
  • Demonstrate proof-of-concept sensing of aqueous arsenic that leverages the arsenic redox chemistry to quantitatively detect arsenic below the 10 ppb level

Project description

Arsenic poisoning affects as many as 500 million people worldwide and contributes to a range of severe acute and chronic health problems, including cancer and cardiovascular and neurological impacts. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization have established ten ppb as a practical threshold for arsenic in drinking water. However, the need to quantify arsenic in water at such low levels poses significant technological challenges, especially in resource-limited environments where sensitive laboratory equipment may not be readily accessible. The development of new rapid, cost-effective, and reliable portable techniques for on-site arsenic detection in water samples remains a major area of need that would significantly impact the global effort to combat arsenic contamination and poisoning.

This seed grant project will establish the chemical basis for a new method of detection of trace arsenic in drinking water. The inherent redox reactivity of aqueous arsenic will be exploited to develop high-fidelity, reaction-based chemical sensors with unmatched signal-to-noise readout. The project's ultimate goal will be a rapid, reliable, cost-effective, and portable technique for on-site arsenic detection in water samples.

Additional Details

Impact Areas

  • Water

Research Themes

  • Sensors & Monitoring

Year Funded

  • 2023

Grant Type

  • Seed Grant


  • Ongoing