Analysis of nerve agents using capillary electrophoresis and laboratory-on-a-chip technology
- M Pumera*
The nerve agents belong among the most toxic compounds produced by human kind. While they have been used very sporadically until now, typically in local conflicts or by local terrorists groups, the global increase in terrorist activity in the recent years has generated tremendous demand for innovative tools capable of detecting nerve agents. Fast, sensitive and reliable detection of nerve agents in the field is very important issue in present days. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) offers great possibilities for sensitive detection of these harmful compounds as well as incorporation in mobile laboratory and it proved to have capability to detect nerve agent breakdown products in real environmental samples. Laboratory-on-a-chip format offers great possibilities to create portable, field deployable, rapidly responding and potentially disposable device, allowing security forces to make the important decision regarding the safety of civilians. This article overviews the conventional capillary electrophoretic and laboratory-on-a-chip techniques for analysis of degradation products of G-type and V-type nerve agents. It discusses diverse strategies of detection of different nerve agents breakdown products, which are corresponding to their parental nerve agents. It also overviews possibilities and challenges for analysis of the real samples. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.
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