New device simplifies measurement of fluoride contamination in water

This was published on February 12, 2019

Researcher Kyriakos Stylianou from the lab of NCCR MARVEL's deputy director Berend Smit and colleagues have developed a portable and user-friendly device that can measure fluoride concentration accurately and reliably.

“To determine whether drinking water is safe we need to detect fluoride in water at the level of parts-per-million (ppm),” says Kyriakos Stylianou at the Laboratory of Molecular Simulation at EPFL Valais Wallis. “Around 1-1.5 ppm is good for teeth, but in many countries the water sources have concentrations above 2 ppm, which can cause serious health issues.”

—  Kyriakos Stylianou, scientist in EPFL's Laboratory of Molecular Simulation and, since May 2018, experimental group leader in  MARVEL Design & Discovery Project 4.

Led by Stylianou, a team of scientists have now built a device that can accurately measure fluoride concentrations using only a few drops of water. Sensitive to even low-level contamination, it indicates its findings with a simple change in color brightness. Published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), the device –  named SION-105 – is portable, considerably cheaper than current methods, and can be used on-site by virtually anyone.

Please follow this link to read EPFL journalist Nik Papageorgiou's story on the research. 


Fatmah Mish Ebrahim, Tu N. Nguyen, Serhii Shyshkanov, Andrzej Gładysiak, Patrick Favre, Anna Zacharia, Grigorios Itskos, Paul J. Dyson, Kyriakos C. Stylianou. a selective, fast-response and regenerable metal–organic frame-work for sampling excess fluoride levels in drinking water. Journal of the American Chemical Society 11 February 2019. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11907

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