2009 New chemical sensor system for measurement of folic acid

Development of a new chemical sensor to analyze the amount of folic acid, methotrexate and other dicarboxylates in pharmaceuticals, foods, beverages and cosmetics.


Researchers of the chemistry department from the UIB have developed and patented a new chemical sensor for the identification and measurement of the total amount of di-carboxylic and tri-carboxylic acid, particularly folic acid and methotrexate in commercial samples of pharmaceutical products, food, drinks and cosmetics.

Its field of application are the quality control procedures.


Detection and quantification of folic acid for pharmaceutical or commercial purposes is currently done by  analytical methods with costly techniques in terms of both during working hours and skilled labor. The described kit determines and quantifies the folic acid present in samples of aqueous medium quickly, easily and efficiently.

Main advantages

Using tripodal squaramide based compounds as receptors we obtain significant improvements in terms of:

  • Time consumption - Results obtaining is faster (4hrs)
  • Accuracy - Exact measurement of the total quantity of folate or methotrexate
  • Costs - Cheaper than the existing methods
  • Output - Multiple samples could be analysed at a time
  • Scope - It covers the range between 0 and 35 ppm of folate or methotrexate
  • It does not require use of enzymes or microorganisms handling
  • It does not require specialized personnel
  • Useful in aqueous samples


  • Squaramide based tripodal compound 
  • Ability to interact with tricarboxylates and dicarboxylates
  • It works on samples with a completely aqueous medium
  • It measures the amount of total folate

In collaboration with:

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