Scientists create polymers to detect banned substances in wastewater

Molecularly imprinted polymers, which have been created with the participation of a SUSU scientist, have become a base for a unique sensor that detects banned substances in wastewater. Police forces in European countries, where the problem of drug production is particularly acute, have shown interest in this development. The results of the research on creating these polymers have been published in a first quartile journal, Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

An international team, which included SUSU Senior Research Fellow Natalia Beloglazova, were set a task of detecting the traces of drugs in wastewater created in illicit drug laboratories. The scientists have designed an automated sensor system that is now the base of the Micromole project, a part of the Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation of the European Union.

The development consists of a system of sensors intended for continuous monitoring of wastewater flow. The system allows authorities to search for laboratories creating synthetic amphetamine drugs, which produce waste contains the traces of production. The majority of the supplies to the illicit market come from European countries, and special attention is paid to amphetamine here.

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