A device for the chemical and biochemical analysis of liquids

31. 03. 2015

Today, when research and development plays such a key role, enormous demands are placed on laboratory instruments, their precision, speed and last, but not least, their mobility. At the Central European Institute of Technology, CEITEC, a unique device has been developed for the chemical and biochemical analysis of liquids, the so-called nanopotentiostat. The device has been developed within the BUT’s Molecular Biotechnology project, with Doc. Ing. Jiří Háze, Ph.D. as the guarantor.

The nanopotentiostat (or potentiostat) is an electrochemical device used for measuring the presence and quantity of biologically and toxicologically significant substances in liquids. This equipment is applied across a range of fields, such as health care, agriculture, food technology, the chemical industry, defence and criminal forensics. The newly designed potentiostat allows chemical and biochemical processes to be observed without any loss of information from the measured signal. This in particular involves step changes in liquid solutions when an adjuvant is added to the solution. This and other delays last tens of milliseconds during which the processes are not monitored.

The main advantages of this design include the ability to measure those rapid changes in the analysed substances which occur very often e.g. due to the addition of an analyte to a liquid or upon the start-up of the device; compared to other potentiostats currently available, the whole device has been miniaturised; in some cases a twenty-fold reduction has been achieved, thereby also achieving dimensions that support the mobility of the whole device in the terrain. Other indisputable advantages include the elimination of parasitic noises in service cables connecting the sensor to the potentionstat, which was achieved through a new structure for the whole device.

Potenciostat 1 640x265
Picture No. 1: Nanopotentiostat

The construction of this unique potentiostat consists of an electrode measuring part (sensor), the integrated nanopotentiostat and auxiliary circuits (connections to PC, NTB etc.). The resulting device can use/evaluate a range of analyses, such as cyclic voltammetry, C/t characteristics and the pH of liquids, etc. All such characteristics of this innovative device have been achieved with a concurrent reduction of production costs compared to currently available devices.

At present, a functional specimen of the device has been made that demonstrates its functionality.

Main advantages: 

  • Ability to measure rapid changes in the analyzed substances
  • Miniaturization of the system in comparison with current potentiostats
  • Elimination of parasitic noise between the sensor and the potentiostat
  • Utilization in the field as a portable diagnostic laboratory

The method and device are protected:

  • By Czech utility model 27993 (link to ÚPV)
  • Czech patent application and a PCT application have been filed.



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