20.05.2020 change 20.05.2020

Gdańsk Scientists Patent Simple Test for Harmful Bisphenol A

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

Researchers have found a key for detecting bisphenol A - a hormone-mimicking substance present in the environment. 

The scientists from the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Medical University of Gdańsk and the National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene, examined how to tackle human exposure to the harmful bisphenol A (BPA). 

BPA is one of the most common so-called endocrine active substances. Almost 1,500 such substances are known and we come into contact with some of them every day.

Dr. Błażej Kudłak from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Gdańsk University of Technology said: “Endocrine active compounds structurally resemble human hormones. After entering the body, they imitate their action or affect their binding and degradation, affect the target hormonal receptors, they can disrupt the secretion of natural hormones and the proteins transporting them. 

“They cause hormonal imbalance, which significantly increases the risk of fertility disorders, developmental defects of children, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer or prostate cancer, and therefore all those diseases that we currently recognize as civilization-related.”

As part of the project, researchers developed a prototype real-time wastewater monitoring system for the Gdańsk Water Supply and Sewage Infrastructure. They also created an application that makes it possible to check the exposure to endocrine active substances in everyday life.

Test version of the app can be downloaded at https://detoxed.pl/#/.

Dr. Aleksandra Rutkowska, CEO of DetoxED, the company set up by the researchers, said: “A traditional laboratory test costs 300 euros and takes a minimum of 24 hours to complete. Our test will cost ten times less, and it will take five minutes to do it at home. 

“We are currently searching for an investor. We are conducting the first negotiations with potential European investors.”

The group has now won an award in the Golden OTIS 2020 competition “for designs of innovative biotechnology solutions aimed at reducing public exposure to plastic decomposition products.”

For more information, visit the website of the Gdańsk University of Technology (www.pg.edu.pl).

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