Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Monitoring Life, One Breath at a Time

Abstract:
A tiny device that can monitor a victim's breathing in emergency situations

Monitoring Life, One Breath at a Time

Respiratory sensor may provide new tool for emergency responders

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Arlington, VA – November 10, 2004

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.

Carbon nanotube network device coated with poly(ethylene imine) and starch polymer layer for detection of CO2 gas
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. Click for larger version
Conceptual illustration of the carbon nanotube network device coated with poly(ethylene imine) and starch polymer layer for detection of CO2 gas
Conceptual illustration of the carbon nanotube network device coated with poly(ethylene imine) and starch polymer layer for detection of CO2 gas.
Credit: Alexander Star, Nanomix. Click for larger version

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

For more information on this research, see: link.

Principal Investigator:
Alexander Star
Nanomix, Inc
(510) 428-5323
AStar@nano.com

Co-Investigator:
Philip E. Bickler
University of California, San Francisco
(415) 476-1411
bicklerp@anesthesia.ucsf.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.


Media contact:
Josh Chamot, NSF
(703) 292-7730
jchamot@nsf.gov

Program contact:
Winslow Sargeant, NSF
(703) 292-7313
wsargean@nsf.gov

Copyright © NSF

If you have a comment, please us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Nanomix

University of California, San Francisco

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing: Combined memristor and transistor can process information and store memory with one device February 22nd, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy: Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time January 11th, 2018

Touchy nanotubes work better when clean: Rice, Swansea scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices January 4th, 2018

Paving the way for a non-electric battery to store solar energy: UMass Amherst scientists say a polymer chain organized like a string of Christmas lights assists energy storage December 22nd, 2017

Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue: Rice University scientists, engineers develop microfluidic devices, microelectrodes for gentle implantation December 19th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-AAT for Treatment of Alpha-1 Liver Disease February 22nd, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

Sensors

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Leti Chief Scientist Barbara De Salvo Will Help Kick Off ISSCC 2018 with Opening-Day Keynote: In Addition, Leti Scientists Will Present and Demo New Technology for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting February 8th, 2018

Engineers develop flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics January 24th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Announcements

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing: Combined memristor and transistor can process information and store memory with one device February 22nd, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project