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Duquesne University has received two more patents, based upon faculty research.

A patent was recently granted for making materials that are capable of detecting lead and quantifying how much lead is in water. These compounds developed by Dr. Partha Basu, award-winning professor of chemistry, are his first innovations leading to a patent.

These extremely selective compounds can identify as little as 10 parts per billion of lead—thus, are more sensitive than the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This new material can identify and quantify lead in the presence of other metal ions—an important differentiation from other lead sensors currently on the market.

The substance, which selectively detects lead, provides results within an hour and is easily read by a fluorescent violet glow that shows detection of lead, which presents a health problem, especially to the brains and nervous systems of children.

The compound could be useful to consumers as well as to industrial and municipal water system monitors. Basu is interested in seeing a startup company form around this technology.

Another patent, one that involves a sequence of peptides related to proteins and protein structures, was created by former chemistry and biochemistry faculty member Charles Dameron. This novel biological technology provides ways to examine pathways within cells. This sequence has a potential value for drug discovery.

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