Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Food, water safety provide new challenges for today's sensors

Abstract:
Sensors that work flawlessly in laboratory settings may stumble when it comes to performing in real-world conditions, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Food, water safety provide new challenges for today's sensors

Oak Ridge, TN | Posted on May 24th, 2012

These shortcomings are important as they relate to safeguarding the nation's food and water supplies, said Ali Passian, lead author of a Perspective paper published in ACS Nano. In their paper, titled "Critical Issues in Sensor Science to Aid Food and Water Safety," the researchers observe that while sensors are becoming increasingly sophisticated, little or no field testing has been reported.

"Although sensor researchers are keenly aware of the various issues challenging their particular technologies, outsiders may perceive an overestimated level of performance, or in certain cases, the availability of 'uber-sensors,'" the researchers wrote. Co-authors are Rubye Farahi and Laurene Tetard of ORNL and Thomas Thundat of the University of Alberta.

Salmonella, E-coli, pesticides and mercury are among key targets for sensors, so a clear public understanding of their capabilities - and limits - is essential, particularly because food and water make for highly complex chemical and biological environments, Passian said.

"Given the current physics of sensors, these hazards pose especially difficult challenges that will require further research and successful demonstration," Passian said.

The researchers explored paths necessary to ensure that sensors work as intended and can help protect the public - a goal they are confident can be achieved.

"While human and animal sensory capabilities are highly specific and can recognize the molecular fingerprints of many potentially harmful substances, developing similar and superior sensing capabilities is faced with many challenges for which nanoscience may provide new solutions," Passian said.

Nanosensors take on a variety of shapes, sizes and architecture. In some devices, nanoparticles (gold, silicon, magnetic composites or polymers) or nanowires (gold, polymers or composites) that react in the presence of the targeted substance are incorporated into the instrument.

Advantages of nano-sized particles in sensors include low cost, high surface-to-volume ratios, high sensitivity, unique optical and electrical properties and fast response, but these are intertwined with offsetting traits.

A number of issues are inherent in the design and operation of nanosensors. For example, the fact the nano-sized particles are so tiny can reduce the probability of interactions with the substance to be measured. Consequently, sensor developers are burdened with reaching a balance between reliability, cost effectiveness, portability, robustness and mass producibility.

Passian and the co-authors also stressed the need for a real-time flow of information to allow for quicker response time to assess risk, damage and notification of the affected populations. Ultimately, while many quality control measures are in place in the United States and other countries, requirements will continue to be refined.

"With the ever-growing global population and unpredictable natural phenomena such as earthquakes, early development of better sensor technology for food and water safety is vitally important," Passian said.

The Department of Homeland Security funded this research. Passian, Tetard and Farahi are members of ORNL's Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ron Walli
Communications and Media Relations
865.576.0226

Copyright © Oak Ridge National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact 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

The paper is available at:

Related News Press

News and information

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Laboratories

Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery April 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Sensors

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Iranian Researchers Present New Model to Strengthen Superconductivity at Higher Temperatures April 19th, 2014

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Discoveries

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery April 23rd, 2014

Characterizing inkjet inks: Malvern Instruments presents new rheological research April 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Characterizing inkjet inks: Malvern Instruments presents new rheological research April 23rd, 2014

NanoSafe, Inc. announces the addition of the Labconco Protector® Glove Box to its NanoSafe Tested™ registry April 23rd, 2014

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Tools

Characterizing inkjet inks: Malvern Instruments presents new rheological research April 23rd, 2014

MRI, on a molecular scale: Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules April 20th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D InfinityTM AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance April 18th, 2014

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale April 17th, 2014

Homeland Security

Nanotube coating helps shrink mass spectrometers March 25th, 2014

Bionic plants: Nanotechnology could turn shrubbery into supercharged energy March 16th, 2014

Detecting Bioterrorism: Is Chemistry Enough? Los Alamos scientist addresses bioaerosol risks and detection March 12th, 2014

Colored diamonds are a superconductor’s best friend March 6th, 2014

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Good vibrations: Using light-heated water to deliver drugs - Researchers use near-infrared light to warm water-infused polymeric particles April 1st, 2014

Nanotube coating helps shrink mass spectrometers March 25th, 2014

Water

Thinnest feasible membrane produced April 17th, 2014

Trees go high-tech: process turns cellulose into energy storage devices April 7th, 2014

Dais Analytic Wins SBIR Grant: Dais Analytic Receives US Army Small Business Innovation Research Grant to Further Its Demonstrated Successes in Cleaning Most Forms of Wastewater March 28th, 2014

University of Waterloo Engineering to Showcase Student Design March 14th, 2014

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







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE