Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monitoring Life, One Breath At A Time: Respiratory Sensor May Provide New Tool For Emergency Responders

Date:
November 11, 2004
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Researchers have created a tiny device that can monitor a victim's breathing in emergency situations by effectively shrinking an operating room machine into a small, disposable tool that can be carried to a disaster site.

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) image of the carbon nanotube network device coated with poly(ethylene imine) and starch polymer layer for detection of CO2 gas.
Credit: Vikram Joshi, Nanomix

Arlington, Va. -- Researchers have created a tiny device that can monitor a victim's breathing in emergency situations by effectively shrinking an operating room machine into a small, disposable tool that can be carried to a disaster site.

NSF-supported researchers at Nanomix, Inc., in Emeryville, Calif., have created a transistor that fuses carbon nanotubes, polymers and silicon into a capnography sensor -- a human breathing monitor.

Alexander Star and his colleagues at Nanomix and the University of California, Los Angeles, describe the new sensor in the cover article of the November 15 issue of the journal Advanced Materials. Their study shows that carbon nanotube transistors fused with carbon dioxide-detecting polymers can determine carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in both ambient and exhaled air.

Capnography sensors detect subtle changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in a person’s breath, revealing respiratory diseases in children and adults, and allowing anesthesiologists to monitor a patient’s breathing during surgery.

In the field, emergency responders may be able to use the new sensor to verify proper breathing tube placement, monitor the patient's respiratory patterns and assess the effect of life support measures.

While the Nanomix device is already capable of monitoring human breathing in laboratory settings, the researchers are collaborating with anesthesiologists and other specialists at the University of California, San Francisco, to design and test a field-ready medical device.

The Nanomix researchers developed their nanotube transistor as part of NSF's Small Business Innovation Research program, and they are also applying the new technology to optoelectronic memory applications.

The same electronic interactions between polymers and carbon nanotubes that sense CO2 can also yield photo-sensitive devices that record the binary "on" and "off" patterns of digital memory. The memory is written optically, but read and erased electronically.

When researchers shine light on the polymer-coated nanotube transistors, electric signals are stored as charges in the nanotubes. Because different polymers absorb light differently, engineers can tune the device to work under specific light waves. By changing the voltage in the device, one can control the read and erase functions.

These research results, which were published in the September issue of Nano Letters, differ from other memory and optical applications of nanotube transistors.

Comments from the researchers:"We have developed nanoelectronic sensors that accurately measure carbon dioxide in human breath. This sensing technology will break new ground in the development of medical devices that take advantage of the unique qualities of nanotechnology – small size, low power and high sensitivity." -- Alexander Star, Manager, Applications Development, Nanomix, Inc.

"We are using two-layer nanodevice assembly, which allows us to control each component to change the operation of the devices. While the nanotube layer defines the density and complexity of nanodevice arrays on the chip, we can independently fine-tune the devices by using different polymers." -- Alexander Star

Comments from UCSF:"Being able to continuously and accurately measure carbon dioxide in exhaled breath with a small, inexpensive and pre-calibrated device is a very significant development in clinical care. It will improve emergency care in the field by helping guide resuscitation efforts and also provide important feedback about adequacy of ventilation. " -- Philip E. Bickler, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco

Comments from NSF:"The potential impact of this device is huge. This technology could lead to a low-cost, small-size, low-power carbon dioxide sensor. The high-sensitivity device might replace bulky and expensive NDIR (non-dispersive infrared absorption) sensors." -- Winslow Sargeant, NSF Small Business Innovation Research Program officer who oversees the Nanomix award.

"This is a high-risk, high-return technology. On a larger scale, the finalized product would lower the cost of respiratory track monitoring, becoming an essential tool for intensive care units and during anesthesia." -- Winslow Sargeant


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Monitoring Life, One Breath At A Time: Respiratory Sensor May Provide New Tool For Emergency Responders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234543.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2004, November 11). Monitoring Life, One Breath At A Time: Respiratory Sensor May Provide New Tool For Emergency Responders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234543.htm
National Science Foundation. "Monitoring Life, One Breath At A Time: Respiratory Sensor May Provide New Tool For Emergency Responders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041109234543.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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