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Radiation detection is now less costly via The Exponent

The work of a team of Purdue researchers has led to a new yeast-based radiation badge providing cheaper, wearable radiation detection.

They have found a biological answer to a necessary workplace tool, according to a Purdue News Service press release. Utilizing yeast and glucose cells, scientists from the Ziaie Biomedical Microdevices Laboratory have developed a radiation-sensing badge that workers can wear around sources of radiation.

The technology relies on yeast inside the badge, which dies when exposed to radiation. For a readout, a drop of water is applied to the badge, and an electrical current runs through it. This provides the opportunity for immediate results, whereas other sensors need to be shipped away and read by an outside firm.


The particular construction is cheaper than the other wearable radiation sensors on the market, according to Babak Ziaie, a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He even believes that it could be distributed en masse in the event of a nuclear emergency. He says that another kind of sensor, produced in major volume, is a few dollars per unit. Zhou also thinks that the biological sensor is cheaper than competitors’ radiation badges, known as dosimeters.

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