Skip to comments.Eye spy cyanide
Posted on 08/05/2012 3:43:52 PM PDT by neverdem
The two-step method to detect cyanide. (A) Adding a chemosensor to a blood sample, followed by extracting the purple chemosensorcyano complex from the sample. (B) Washing the column with water
Cyanide poisoning as a result of smoke inhalation can have serious or fatal consequences unless an antidote is rapidly administered. Current methods for determining cyanide poisoning, including microdiffusion, microdistillation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry detection, can take up to an hour to give results and are not suitable for point-of-care settings.
The method devised by Christine Männel-Croisé and Felix Zelder from the University of Zürich only takes two minutes and does not require any laboratory equipment. A pinprick of blood is taken from the victim and adjusted with a pH9.6 buffer. An orange cobalt-based chemosensor (previously developed by the team) is added, the resulting solution is pressed through a syringe containing a solid phase extraction column and then water is used to flush the blood sample from the column. If cyanide is present, it will have formed a purple cyano complex with the chemosensor, which is trapped on the top layer of the column and is visible to the naked eye.
What makes this method unique, states Willie Hinze, an analytical chemist from Wake Forest University, US, is that it has all the benefits of previous techniques: the blood sample is very small, commonly used cyanide antidotes dont interfere with detection, the materials required are simple and the results can be determined by the eye. What I like best about it is there is no CN- releasing step because of the in situ complexation, he says. This is a serious disadvantage with previous methods, which require the addition of acid and heating to liberate CN- from the blood sample. This can potentially generate HCN gas, which is not very useful, as Zelder points out.
Not only does the colour of the cyano complex provide an easy identification of cyanide poisoning, it is also quantitatively useful. The intensity of the colour can be used to determine the dose needed, or whether the antidote is taking effect. In principle, this could be done with a cell phone camera, says Zelder. The next step is to see whether the method stands up to field testing. Zelder and colleagues are currently in discussion with emergency doctors to try it out in real situations.
1. C Männel-Croisé and F Zelder, Anal. Methods, 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c2ay25595b
Why did you post this? Andrew Breitbart?
Yeah. But why?
And this is relevant to a conservative news forum why?
Because a less than fatal dose can still do a lot of damage.
Hey cut the original poster some slack.
Good. Wide spread knowledge of this easy detection technique might reduce the number of “accidental” poisonings...
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
I can’t imagine how you could have been around FR for over ten years and not know that science, medical and technical postings are common here (although there aren’t nearly enough).
Thanks for posting this. Earlier this year I went to a seminar that discussed how much more toxic fires with modern furnishing can be. There’s some that believe some of the firefighters that were thought to have died from heart attacks may have died from cyanide poisoning instead. A NIOSH report on the deaths of two firefighters showed lethal amounts of both CO and hydrogen cyanide in their blood.
Having a faster test available may save someone’s life. Thanks again. I’ll spread the word.
Modern homes using engineered beams and other non-traditional wood products for structural support burn hotter, faster and collapse faster than the old sick built construction.
The video at the link is a UL test that shows two rooms ignited at the same time. The room on the left has furnishing covered in wool, cotton and silk. The room on the right has furnishings covered with modern petroleum derived fabrics. Some are calling them solidified gasoline. What do you want in your home?
Yeah but shouldn’t we be worrying about the virus or bacterium that causes the zombies to reanimate in “The Walking Dead”?
We?? I already am the Walking Dead.
Or, at least, I was last night......
No. Chemistry was my undergraduate major. I'm a physician. I still like practical chemistry.
meatloaf and vetvetdoug and anyone else, you're welcome.
Have you seen or read the book, The Poisonner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum?
The title is somewhat misleading, because it is the story of forensic chemistry, it’s developement in NYC during prohibition. Great reading!
Though I am an Art Historian by education and training, I’m a pure science enthusiast interested in geology and astrophysics.
Thanks for posting, ND. I always read with interest the articles on medicine, disease, technology, aviation, aerospace, physics, engineering, etc. I don’t read technical journals any more, so this is a great way to learn about new advances.
I had no idea that modern petroleum based fabrics lead to CN poisoning via smoke inhalation.
But it's been a long time since college Organic lab ...
...and we need to know this... why?
It’s a bigger problem than is widely known. It’s also the reason I tell people to get out of a burning house ASAP and assemble the family upwind of the smoke. And never go back in. You’ll die.
This article mentions hydroxocobalamin which apparently can be carried by fire companies and used on scene.