UT Dallas team breathes new life into possibilities by using CMOS integrated circuits technology
Researchers at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas are working to develop an affordable electronic nose that can be used in breath analysis for a wide range of health diagnosis.
While devices that can conduct breath analysis using compound semiconductors exist, they are bulky and too costly for commercial use, said Dr. Kenneth O, one of the principal investigators of the effort and director of TxACE. The researchers determined that using CMOS integrated circuits technology will make the electronic nose more affordable.
CMOS is the integrated circuits technology used to manufacture the bulk of electronics that have made smartphones, tablets and other devices possible.
The new research was presented Wednesday in a paper titled "200-280GHz CMOS Transmitter for Rotational Spectroscopy and Demonstration in Gas Spectroscopy and Breath Analysis" at the 2016 IEEE Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"Smell is one of the senses of humans and animals, and there have been many efforts to build an electronic nose," said Dr. Navneet Sharma, the lead author of paper, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at UT Dallas. "We have demonstrated that you can build an affordable electronic nose that can sense many different kinds of smells. When you're smelling something, you are detecting chemical molecules in the air. Similarly, an electronic nose detects chemical compounds using rotational spectroscopy."
The rotational spectrometer generates and transmits electromagnetic waves over a wide range of frequencies, and analyzes how the waves are attenuated to determine what chemicals are present as well as their concentrations in a sample. The system can detect low levels of chemicals present in human breath.
Breaths contain gases from the stomach and that come out of blood when it comes into contact with air in the lungs. The breath test is a blood test without taking blood samples. Breath contains information about practically every part of a human body.
The electronic nose can detect gas molecules with more specificity and sensitivity than Breathalyzers, which can confuse acetone for ethanol in the breath. The distinction is important, for example, for patients with Type 1 diabetes who have high concentrations of acetone in their breath.
"If you think about the industry around sensors that emulate our senses, it's huge," said Dr. O, also a professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair. "Imaging applications, hearing devices, touch sensors -- what we are talking about here is developing a device that imitates another one of our sensing modalities and making it affordable and widely available. The possible use of the electronic nose is almost limitless. Think about how we use smell in our daily lives."
The researchers envision the CMOS-based device will first be used in industrial settings and then in doctors' offices and hospitals. As the technology matures, they could become household devices. Dr. O said the need for blood work and gastrointestinal tests could be reduced, and diseases could be detected earlier, lowering the costs of health care.
The researchers are working toward construction of a prototype programmable electronic nose that can be made available for beta testing sometime in early 2018.
TxACE and this work are supported in large part by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and Texas Instruments Inc. Additional support was provided by Samsung Global Research Outreach.
"SRC and its members, including Texas Instruments, Intel, IBM, Freescale, Mentor Graphics, ARM and GlobalFoundries, have been following this work for several years. We are excited by the possibilities of the new technology and are working to rapidly explore its uses and applications," said Dr. David Yeh, SRC senior director. "It is a significant milestone, but there is still much more research needed for this to reach its potential."
TxACE was created in 2008 by the SRC, the state through its Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Texas Instruments, the UT System and UT Dallas. It is the largest analog circuit design research center based in an academic institution. The center focuses on analog and mixed signal integrated circuits engineering that improve public safety and security, enhance medical care and help the U.S. become more energy independent.
The research team includes UT Dallas doctoral students Qian Zhong and Jing Zhang; Dr. Mark Lee, professor and head of physics; Dr. David Lary, associate professor of physics; Dr. Hyun-Joo Nam, assistant professor of bioengineering; Dr. Rashaunda Henderson, associate professor of electrical engineering; and Dr. Wooyeol Choi, assistant research professor. Other team members include Dr. Philip Raskin of UT Southwestern; Dr. Frank C. De Lucia, Dr. C.F. Neese and Dr. J.P. McMillan of Ohio State University; and Dr. Ivan R. Medvedev and R. Schueler of Wright State University.
Brittany Magelssen | EurekAlert!
Neutrons pave the way to accelerated production of lithium-ion cells
20.03.2018 | Technische Universität München
Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated
16.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences