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Mike Leopold, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, works with Gold, Element 79, on a projects focusing on incorporating gold nanomaterials as a functional component of sensors for biomedical applications.

One piece of Leopold’s research includes biosensor development, which will ultimately be used to design a sensor or electrode that can be easily inserted into the body through a catheter or IV to detect uric or lactic acid in the bloodstream. Measuring uric acid can detect preeclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure) risk for pregnant woman, and lactic acid levels can indicate a serious whole body infection known as sepsis. Leopold also works with glucose levels related to diabetes management.

“Using glucose as a model system, undergraduate researchers in the Leopold Research Laboratory were able to develop strategies where networks of gold nanoparticles are able to provide signal enhancement. The strategy was then implemented successfully for a fully functional uric acid sensor capable of remote, continuous monitoring of uric acid levels in bodily fluids, a development that could ultimately lead to faster, more accurate prediction of pregnancy induced hypertension and eliminate unnecessary surgical procedures for pregnancies,” Leopold explained. Leopold is also passionate in general about The Periodic Table.

"When I teach general chemistry I show the students slides of classic works of art by different artists and then I show them the periodic table – another 'work of art,'" said Leopold.


Contact Sunni Brown, assistant director of media and public relations, to connect with Mike Leopold today.