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Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is both useful to human beings and can cause irreversible harm of varying degrees (UVA, UVB, and UVC). Especially, in areas with excessive sunlight, the appearance of UVB results in an increased risk of skin cancer. On the other hand, UV lamps (254 nm, UVC) are widely used in disinfection (air, water, and factory food) and hospital sterilization; the leakage of UVC is thus sometimes inevitable, which may cause fatal injuries to the related staff. Therefore, low-cost UV dosimetry-based personal protective equipment (PPE) and industrial monitoring devices are of great importance. Here, for the first time, we found that 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) could be rapidly oxidized upon UVB and UVC irradiation in a dose-dependent manner, in which TMB acts as a self-photosensitizer. Since TMB is a typical and widely used chromogenic substrate in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), it is well-commercialized with low cost and vast availability worldwide, which permitted the development of low-cost naked-eye UVB and UVC dosimetry. A wearable bracelet mounted with TMB-loaded paper was developed for successful indication of whether the UVB exposure in the sunlight exceeded the minimum erythema dose (MED). In addition, we also developed a clock dial equipped with a TMB solution for unattended detection of UVC leakage from UVC disinfection lamps. The UVB- and UVC-selective coloration and low cost of TMB offered remarkable potential in facile detection of UVR in our daily life.


Xiao Zhang, Xianming Li, Yunhe Lang, Peng Wu. Low-Cost Naked-Eye UVB and UVC Dosimetry Based on 3,3',5,5'-Tetramethylbenzidine. Analytical chemistry. 2022 Mar 15;94(10):4373-4379

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PMID: 35244388

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