Colorimetric Detoxifying Sensors for Fumigants and Aerosol Toxicants

Tech ID: 31700 / UC Case 2020-039-0


Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a colorimetric sensor than can detect and detoxify fumigants simultaneously. 

Full Description

With global annual usage of fumigants reaching over 2 million tons, it is critical to protect those who work or live in close proximity to the pesticides from acute toxicity. Fumigants are commonly used in agricultural, household pest control and pharmaceutical synthesis applications. Available alternatives for mitigating fumigant exposure include personal protective equipment (PPE) and various self-decontaminating techniques. However, none of these current methods address adequately all the health-related concerns associated with fumigants. Sensors can detect the presence of fumigants, but these sensors have not been effective historically in all settings. Additionally, the passive protective barriers can deposit and sometimes even release the toxicant once the user is removed from the barrier. Thus, the need exists for effective sensors that can rapidly detect and signal exposure levels, as well as detoxify the harmful fumigants simultaneously.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a detoxifying colorimetric sensor that out-performs traditional nanofiber and other types of fumigant sensors. This sensor can also provide color-based indications of exposure levels. This technology uses nanofibrous membranes to provide fast and accurate concentration readouts. Both concentration level assessments and detoxification can be achieved within minutes. Extensive testing has confirmed that these sensors are effective at mitigating alkylating toxicants over a range of concentrations. The durability and detoxification effectiveness of these sensors make them ideal for inclusion in PPE products capable of providing superior protection against toxic fumigants.


  •         Provide color-based indications of fumigant concentrations
  •         Detoxify harmful components of fumigants


  •         Displays exposure levels via easy-to-read output
  •         Durable and reusable
  •         Easily integrated in PPE products
  •         Can measure quickly and accurately the efficacy of the detoxification process

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Sun, Gang
  • Tang, Peixin

Other Information


Sensors, Colorimetric, Pesticides, Fumigants, Toxicity, Nanofibers, Personal protection equipment (PPE)

Categorized As