Project Title: Advanced Development of a Manufacturable Cyanide Exposure Diagnostic


Scientific Rational and Background: The production of cyanide from building fires and the extensive use of cyanide in multiple industries makes cyanide poisoning a cause of concern for prehospital care. Yearly, in the US there are 23,000 smoke inhalation victims (~16,000 are from home fires), and 5,000 – 10,000 of those cases are lethal. Multiple studies performed during the 1970s and 1980s indicate that a high percentage (i.e., 30 – 90%) of smoke inhalation victims, civilians as well as fire rescue personnel, have potentially lethal blood cyanide concentrations. Considering the number of smoke inhalation victims per year and the percentage of those with lethal cyanide exposure, an estimated 14,000 people are exposed to potentially lethal levels of cyanide per year from fire smoke. Because the onset of cyanide toxicity is fast (depending on the dose, death can occur between 5 – 30 min if treatment is not administered), a rapid field blood diagnostic for cyanide exposure is necessary. An advanced research prototype diagnostic was developed based the conversion of cyanide to a highly fluorescent product (Co-inventors: Drs. Logue and Jackson). The sensor technology is accurate and sensitive and features a disposable self-contained cyanide sample preparation component (the cartridge).


Current Sensor Performance:

  • Diagnostic Accuracy = 100% (n = 205)

  • Sample Volume = 25 µL

  • Analysis Time = 60 s

  • LOD = 5 µM (potentially lethal level of cyanide ~40 µM)

  • Linear Range = 5-100 µM

  • Precision and Accuracy = <15% RSD and 100±15%

Project Relevance to Society: The development of this rapid and accurate cyanide exposure diagnostic will allow the diagnosis of cyanide exposure for smoke inhalation victims in the pre-hospital setting, potentially saving up to 10,000 lives annually. Additionally, the technology will allow the timely administration of life-saving therapeutics for smoke inhalation victims as well as monitoring cyanide levels for fire rescue personnel before and after responding to fires.  


Laboratory Prototype

Advanced Prototype

Cyanalyzer PM.jpg