Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sniffing Out Chemical, Biological Threats

14.10.2009
Research to develop a new method to detect biological and chemical threats may also lead to new approaches for removing pollutants from the environment.

The research effort, led by Dr. Hai Xiao of Missouri University of Science and Technology, involves the development of tiny sensors – each about the size of a pinhead – that could be used to detect and identify chemical or biological agents.

Xiao, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, along with colleagues from Missouri S&T and the University of Cincinnati are using a porous crystal known as zeolite to develop the sensors.

Zeolite’s molecular structure and unusual properties allow it to detect certain chemicals and trap them, Xiao says.

Funded through a $529,160 grant from the U.S. Army’s Leonard Wood Institute, the researchers are developing prototypes of the sensors, a process for manufacturing them and a means for deploying them in a battlefield or urban warfare situation.

The zeolite sensors would be deployed in the battlefield via “motes” developed by Xiao’s co-investigator, Dr. Jagannathan Sarangapani, the William A. Rutledge-Emerson Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering. These are small, battery-powered devices that would hold perhaps a dozen or so sensors and have the ability to communicate with one another via a wireless network. The motes could also be controlled remotely, allowing soldiers to maintain a safe distance from deadly chemicals.

While the sensors are designed to aid the military, Xiao thinks they may also have environmental benefits. In more concentrated quantities, the absorbent properties of zeolite may make it ideal for cleaning up environmental messes, such as a chemical spill.

“It’s more like a sieve and has been used for molecular separations,” he says. “But because of its large surface area, zeolite also acts as an absorbent for efficient collection of target samples from the environment.”

Xiao’s expertise is in developing sensors for military, energy, industry and biomedical applications, while Dr. H.L. Tsai, a professor of mechanical engineering at Missouri S&T, is an expert in the area of laser fabrication. Working with Tsai is Dr. Junhang Dong, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati who is an expert in zeolite materials design and synthesis.

Working with Xiao and Sarangapani is Dr. Sanjeev Agarwal, a research assistant professor of electrical engineering. Agarwal and Sarangapani are developing the distribution system for the sensors.

Andrew Careaga | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.mst.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>