SBIR Phase I: Nanostructured Optical Fiber Breathing Sensors
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop optical fiber sensors for the quantitative measurement of humidity and air flow for use in
medical diagnostics for breathing. Initial research indicates that these physically small and mechanically robust sensors respond over a wide range of relative humidities, with a response time of microseconds, orders of magnitude faster than commercially available devices. In the project, a molecular-level electrostatic self-assembly (ESA) processing method will be used to form multilayered, interleaved metal nanocluster and polymer thin films on the distal ends of optical fibers to form the sensors. The project will involve work with a biomedical institute partner to develop the sensor thin film chemistries with improved response, and to design and fabricate the optical fiber sensor support instrumentation system. The Optical Science and Engineering Research Center at Virginia Tech will assist in thin film materials analysis and optical device testing.
Commercially, these small, rugged, intrinsically safe, ultra-fast optical fiber-based humidity and air flow sensors offer an attractive and low-cost approach to breathing diagnostics for both clinical research and home health care. Additional large markets for similar sensors exist in the industrial gas flow, automotive and transportation areas.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Jeffrey Mecham
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068
Number of Employees: