Office for Technology Commercialization

Selective Phosphate Detection

Technology #20140151

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PhosphatePhosphate Pollution
Steven Kass, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry
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Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending 2015-0157783

Phosphate Pollution

One of the most common pollutants in industrial waste and fertilizer run-off is phosphate. Half of US lakes, streams, and rivers as well as 80% of coastal waterways are exposed to waste phosphate. High phosphate levels hurt marine life and promote the growth of potentially dangerous algae species. It can also lead to hyperphosphatemia in humans and animals. Current methods of phosphate detection in water or serum are costly, slow to provide results, and use techniques that can only be conducted in a lab.

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Phosphate Ion Detection

A compound has been identified that reliably identifies phosphate ions. This derivative of the tris-thiourea molecule is extremely selective for the phosphate anion and accurately tests for phosphate presence. It is designed to operate in a phosphate ion selective electrode (ISE) that is used to detect phosphate levels in water and human blood. These phosphate sensors can be used multiple times and are quick and easy to use.

Hyperphosphatemia Treatment and Prevention

Hyperphosphatemia can be caused by high phosphate levels in drinking water. This phosphate selective compound can be used in both the treatment and prevention of hyperphosphatemia in humans and animals. In addition, chronic kidney condition can be accurately diagnosed with an ISE sensor.


  • High selectivity
  • Designed to be used in high-accuracy, durable ion selective electrodes (ISE)
  • ISE ease-of-use and low cost allow for routine phosphate monitoring

Phase of Development - Compounds have been synthesized and characterized.