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Paper-based nanosensors to evaluate community-wide illicit drug use for wastewater-based epidemiology

Mao, K; Yang, Z; Zhang, H; Li, X; Cooper, JM; (2021) Paper-based nanosensors to evaluate community-wide illicit drug use for wastewater-based epidemiology. Water Research , 189 , Article 116559. 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116559. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a powerful technique for monitoring illicit drugs of abuse in the community. Here, we report upon a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) sensor for the sensitive and selective detection of methamphetamine based upon the assembly of noble metal core-shell nanoparticles on a bespoke glassy nanofibrous electrospun paper matrix. The hierarchical structure of the fibrous paper, modified with the synthesized Au@Ag core-shells (Au@Ag) gave strong SERS signalling, enabling us to evaluate the community-wide prevalence of methamphetamine in wastewater treatment plants within Beijing. We show that, when normalized for the daily flow of the wastewater treatment plants and for population density, higher mass loads of drugs are generally found in sewage influent from urban areas, implying greater local methamphetamine usage than that in less populated areas. The user-friendly and disposable paper sensors demonstrate the applicability of rapid on-site illicit drug detection, illustrating the application to wastewater-based epidemiology, which has the potential to inform government agencies regarding societal interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Paper-based nanosensors to evaluate community-wide illicit drug use for wastewater-based epidemiology
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116559
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116559
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Illicit drugs, Nanosensors, Public health, SERS, Wastewater-based epidemiology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118737
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