Researchers at Rovira i Virgili University have created a surface coated with gold-plated black silicon nanopillars that can detect compounds that come in contact with a human finger or are excreted by the skin. The technology can be applied to drug control, forensic analysis, clinical research, and the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Scientist in the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Metabolomics Rovira Virgin University (URV) Is an expert in laser-assisted imaging mass spectrometry technology, which can identify and create substances,Chemistry and Molecular Atlas Different surfaces. In other words, they can know the organic compound and its location in the sample.
Now they have applied the same technology to Black silicon Nanometer level, covered by a thin layer of particles Oro. You can print and analyze human fingerprints and various animal and plant tissues on this surface.Details have been published in the magazine ACS Nano.
As far as fingerprints are concerned, it is the same as making identification documents, and it is sufficient to print a finger on the surface. In this way, the molecules of the finger skin still adhere to the skin. Nanostructured surface The molecular map of the fingerprint can then be determined without further processing the sample.
In this way, it is possible to identify for example Skin wax, This Lactic acid It is secreted by the dermal glands and some molecules around the sweat glands. In addition to knowing whether a certain molecule is in the tissue, the technology can also detect compounds that the person has been exposed to.
One of the advantages of this surface is that it can be modified by the bonding of gold particles with other molecules Only selective for specific compounds That interest. Another important feature is that no harmful chemicals or organic solvents are used to produce these surfaces. In addition, they are very stable over time, do not degrade, and can store samples without problems.
Different applications in different industries
New technologies may be useful in various fields.on Forensic Science and Forensic ScienceFor example, it can be applied to drug control. The fingerprint cannot be tampered with or manipulated, so when someone leaves it on the nano surface, the chemical compound detected on it is directly related to its identity, and the sample can be stored for a long time without modification.
For its part, Pharmaceutical Industry And clinical research can also use the system to determine whether a certain compound in the drug has reached the desired tissue, and samples can be taken from it for analysis.
Similarly, certain drugs and drugs are excreted in sweat when they are metabolized and can be detected by fingerprints.Similarly, certain diseases can be diagnosed by the substances we excrete through sweat, such as Glucose concentration.
Blood glucose measurement is commonly used to diagnose diabetes. In fact, the URV laboratory is part of the Diabetes and Related Metabolic Diseases Network Biomedical Research Center (Siberia).
Refers Cosmetics industry, Using this nano surface will let you know, for example, the residues of cosmetics left on the skin: which are left on the surface and which are absorbed.
Stefania Alexandra Iakab, Pere Ràfols, Marta Tajes, Xavier Correig-Blanchar and María García-Altares “Auxiliary gold nanoparticle black silicon matrix for mass spectrometry imaging applications”. ACS Nano 2020, 14, 6, 6785-6794. May 28, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c00201