Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientific gains may make electronic nose the next everyday device

17.06.2016

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.


Researchers determined that using integrated circuits, including one shown right of the US quarter and below the label 'CHIP1' in an electronic nose will make the device more affordable.

Credit: UT Dallas

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.

Media Contact

Brittany Magelssen
brittany.hoover@utdallas.edu
972-883-4357

 @ut_dallas

http://www.utdallas.edu 

Brittany Magelssen | EurekAlert!

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies

nachricht Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>