Detecting Chemical Warfare Agents

Detecting Chemical Warfare Agents

Author: David Peralta

Specific, rapid and sensitive detection of chemical warfare agents is of prime importance in today’s world. However, detection of nerve agents such as sarin and soman has been mostly limited to instrumental methods.

Salvador Gil, University of Valencia, Spain, and colleagues synthesized a probe for the highly selective chromogenic recognition of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP), a sarin and soman mimic. The probe showed remarkable limits of detection of DFP, both in solution and in the gas phase. Test strips exposed to air concentrations of DFP as low as 10 ppm showed a color change that was detectable by the naked eye. The color change is based on phosphorylation of the probe, followed by fluoride-induced hydrolysis.


 

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