London, July 8 : American researchers are working on lab-on-a-chip technologies that will facilitate the detection of the kind and amounts of radiation people at any particular area have received after being exposed to a 'dirty bomb' just by testing their saliva or urine samples.
Albert Fornace at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, points out that the existing techniques for estimating radiation dosage rely on blood samples that can only be taken by trained individuals.
He says that the metabolites required for such detection also turn up in saliva and urine, but not in high enough concentrations for current testing equipment to detect.
The researcher insists that the lab-on-a-chip technologies his team is developing will rely on easily obtainable saliva and urine samples, reports New Scientist magazine.
According to him, such devices should allow a much higher throughput of tests in an emergency.
Story first published: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 14:29 [IST]