Lab On Paper: Quantification Of Iodine Levels In Salt

Student: Daniel Wu, 2014-2015

Sponsor: Prof. Marya Lieberman, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Notre Dame, IN

Nearly every country in the world participates in a salt iodization program because this micronutrient is the leading preventable cause of cognitive impairment in children. The iodine nutrition status of women of childbearing age and young children must be monitored in order to ensure that these vulnerable groups are receiving adequate dietary iodine. This is very challenging analytically, because the concentration of urinary iodine that indicates adequate dietary adequate is just 100-300 parts per billion. Currently, urinary testing requires shipping thousands of urine samples to the few labs that can carry out the analysis. We are developing a low cost quantitative test (the uiPAD) that can be used outside a lab setting. If the PADs perform well in the field, they could reduce the cost of monitoring programs, increase compliance with testing requirements, and greatly simplify record keeping and reporting. Students who wish to work on the scientific development of this project could perform tests under field conditions, create alternative designs of the uiPAD to reduce chemical wastes from the tests (green design) or improve usability, or conduct a study of different imaging devices as tools for recording the test results.