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Microplastics Identification Sensor

Inventors: Anna Michel, Beckett Colson
Publication No. US20210072137A1

Background: In a wide range of sizes, plastic waste is the most prevalent waste found in marine environments. Microplastics are identified as plastics less than 5 mm in length. Due to their small size, microplastics are challenging to detect and identify and present potential health risks from ingestion and other entry routes to humans and marine life. The current identification process is time-consuming and potentially biased, relying on manual filtering and identification.

Technology: The Microplastics Detection sensor utilizes impedance spectroscopy. The innovative approach differentiates between plastic and non-plastic particles in a liquid sample in a real-time, flow-through microplastics sensor. Lab results indicate successful differentiation of biological material from plastic particles of a variety of sizes. The sensor can make rapid detections in minutes without the possibility of contaminating the sample. This technology has the potential to be developed into a real-time and low-cost microplastics sensor. This instrument will produce quantitative microplastic particle count, size distribution, and plastic to biological material ratio.



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The Office for Technology Transfer