Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sensor To Detect Agents Used In Biological Warfare

Date:
October 29, 2003
Source:
University At Buffalo
Summary:
Researchers from the University at Buffalo are developing a handheld sensor that can detect the presence of toxins potentially used as agents in biological warfare.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo are developing a handheld sensor that can detect the presence of toxins potentially used as agents in biological warfare.

The proposed sensor, which will utilize optical-detection and chemical-sensing technologies, could be used in urban, military, industrial and even home environments, says researcher Albert H. Titus, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

"Our sensor will have certain advantages over what is currently available," Titus says. "It will be lightweight, portable, relatively inexpensive to manufacture and it can be tailored to detect many types -- or different quantities -- of toxins."

Titus and co-researchers Frank V. Bright, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, and Alexander N. Cartwright, associate professor of electrical engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, have been awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the sensor.

The sensor will be composed of three components -- an LED (light emitting diode), a xerogel-based sensor array and a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) detector, commonly used in miniature digital cameras.

In experiments using this sensing system, the researchers successfully designed a prototype that detected the presence of oxygen.

According to Bright, the xerogel -- a porous glass-like material -- will be custom-designed by imprinting the glass with the protein-based toxins that one seeks to detect, such as staphylococcal, botulinum and shiga toxins.

To detect the presence of the toxins, the researchers will produce sensors called Protein Imprinted Xerogel with Integrated Emission Sites (PIXIES). Within the PIXIES, a tiny fluorescent dye molecule is placed within the xerogel's imprint sight. The PIXIES then are placed atop the LED, which is used to stimulate the fluorescent dye to emit light.

The fluorescent molecule is sensitive to the presence of other molecules in its immediate environment. Thus, when the target toxin is recognized by the PIXIES, the fluorescent molecule will change its light intensity, Bright explains.

The PIXIES can be constructed to detect many different toxins or to detect the same toxin in different ways, as a failsafe. When light from the PIXIES is imaged onto the face of the CMOS detector, an electrical signal is produced, which can be read by a personal digital assistant (PDA) or similar handheld device.

"The light output from the PIXIES will be very different depending on the presence or absence of the toxin that you are trying to detect," says Bright. "Changes to one or more of the many PIXIES indicate which toxin is present, and the intensity of the detected light indicates how much of that toxin is present."

The compact size and low-power requirements of the sensor will make it ideal for connection to a PDA or for inclusion within a cell phone that would emit a signal alerting the user to the presence of a toxin, according to Titus.

"These sensors can be placed at sites for monitoring the environment, to warn of attacks, to assess the nature of attacks and to identify a toxin's concentration," Titus adds.

The sensor also will have medical applications, according to Bright. It can be adapted to detect glucose, pharmaceuticals or biomarkers in blood or saliva, and may serve as a diagnostic tool for assessing disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University At Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University At Buffalo. "Sensor To Detect Agents Used In Biological Warfare." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031029065414.htm>.
University At Buffalo. (2003, October 29). Sensor To Detect Agents Used In Biological Warfare. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031029065414.htm
University At Buffalo. "Sensor To Detect Agents Used In Biological Warfare." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031029065414.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins