Article courtesy of Jennifer Huber | December 6th, 2016 | Scope Blog: Stanford University | Shared as educational material.
The recent crises in Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey demonstrate that water supply contamination is a problem in the United States, not just in developing nations. It’s tough to remediate water supplies because of the need to detect and remove heavy-metal toxins such as lead and mercury at very low levels before concentrations sum up. This health challenge inspired researchers at Rutgers University to design tiny, glowing crystals that can simultaneously detect and remove heavy metals from water. Known as luminescent metal-organic frameworks (LMOFs), these crystals selectively bind to the harmful metals and then stop glowing — permitting the toxins to be detected and absorbed at a “parts per billion level” from aqueous solutions. Read more about this solution here.