Arsenic detection project: electronics

Anthony Clemetson
John Barth


This project is a collaboration with a team of bioengineers to adapt the functionality of laboratory equipment onto a platform which could be used in the field to determine the concentration levels of toxins in ground water. To this end, using a set of printed electrodes, a device was designed and fabricated with the constraints of field use in mind: low power, low cost, with a mobile user interface. An Android phone served as the mobile user interface, and also as the power supply for the circuit and microcontroller that performed the test. This circuit applied a stimulus voltage across the electrodes and generated an output signal using annodic stripping voltammetry. The microcontroller both generated that stimulus signal, and interpreted the output signal for transmission to the mobile phone where the user then interpreted the data. Testing showed that, in addition to running the expected test for arsenic, the device was able to communicate those results to the mobile phone. Subsequent visual inspection of these results confirmed that control and contaminated samples could be correctly identified from the phone.