Measuring Iron the Smart Way

Measuring Iron the Smart Way

Author: Melania Tesio

Techniques to measure iron concentrations in blood samples are important diagnostic tools as abnormal iron levels are linked to numerous pathological conditions. Similarly, as iron can affect the quality of wine, it is important to measure its level during wine-making processes. Nevertheless, the strategies currently employed to quantify iron in blood or wine are not optimal.

This issue prompted Saúl Vallejos and colleagues, Universidad de Burgos, Spain, to develop an visual detection kit for iron that is based on a sensory polymeric material. The researchers transformed 8-hydroxyquinoline, an FeIII chelator, into an acryl monomer and subsequently polymerized it with hydrophilic co-monomers. In this way, the scientists obtained disc-shaped polymeric membranes that worked as colorimetric chemosensors of FeIII. Once immersed in aqueous solutions, such as blood serum or wine, the colorless and transparent discs acquired a green-brownish color, which was proportional to the amounts of FeIII present in the samples.
After being digitalized with a camera and elaborated with a computer, the color of the discs provided a fast and accurate measurement of FeIII concentrations.


  1. Jack Horvath

    Interesting. We may have an application for such disc-shaped polymeric membranes to detect Fe3 – if they can detect Fe3 in the presence of Fe2 without indicating the ferrous iron. Now if there is some company who would manufacture them and offer them for sale!?


Leave a Reply

Kindly review our community guidelines before leaving a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *