The detection of microplastics in environmental samples is currently very time-consuming and requires expensive and complicated measuring equipment, which many research institutes, especially in poorer countries, cannot afford.
Detection with Nile red is a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative and is one of the R&D focuses of Wasser 3.0. Nile red selectively stains microplastics present in the sample, which then glows brightly under a fluorescence microscope and is easy to count.
Together with the cooperation partner abcr GmbH, new Nilrot derivatives were developed for improved application and their properties against different polymer types and natural particles (e.g. wood, lime, insect skins) were investigated.