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Comment Automation & Control

This handheld chemical analyzer connects to smartphones

By Scott Jenkins |

A new smartphone-operated portable chemical analyzer provides a platform for chemical leak detection and other industrial applications, according to developer MyDx Inc. (San Diego, Calif.; www.cdxlife.com). The company designed the handheld analyzer for consumers, but the technology platform has origins in the space program and could be used in industry. The initial rollout of the MyDx product is aimed at the medical marijuana industry, where it will be used by growers and users to quickly test levels of cannabinoids (including THC) and other compounds in cannabis plants. The company plans to follow its cannabis product with other sensors, using the same platform for detecting chemicals in water and air samples, including CO, NH3, NO2 and others. The analyzer is equipped with conducting polymer receptors that are chemically functionalized to bind to specific target molecules. Binding induces expansion or contraction of the polymer, thereby changing resistance in associated electrical circuitry. Resistance changes correspond to levels of the target molecule. The device works by inserting a disposable, sample-containing cartridge, where small air pumps pull vapor from the sample to the sensor surface. “The technology really is an…
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