A new type of sensor combines beer yeast and modern technology to measure radiation levels


The procedure is not new, as doctors have been using a mixture of brewer's yeast and bread for years to assess the daily exposure to radiation when working in contaminated areas.

The concept of was improved by Purdue University researchers who created a test of the size of a stamp that can be activated with only a few drops of water.

Improvised from paper for freezer, foil aluminum and leucoplast, the disposable test uses a mixture similar to beer yeast, consisting of bacteria sensitive to the ambient radiation level.

After wearing, the level of absorbed radiation can be "read" by means of a special device which can be connected to a tablet or smartphone to centralize measurements and risk assessment over several days.

Taking the form of a badge or patch self-adhesive, the new radiation tester could be included in the equipment of the intervention teams and used in the case of nuclear accidents.

A little expensive, the radiation tester can also serve as a means of controlling and managing radiation exposure for

It has to be said that even today there is a type of badge, called the dosimeter, for measuring the exposure to radiation. However, these are thought to be worn for several weeks or months during the entire activity carried out in areas at risk of radioactive contamination. After use, they are typically returned to the producing company and may take several weeks to obtain the measurements. The new bio-badge based on fermentation of yeast can be measured immediately and at a much lower cost, the data obtained by helping to make quick decisions on the possible starting of a treatment against exposure to radiation

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