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Wearable Photoelectrocatalytic Personal Environmental Exposure Monitor

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Valencell Inc.
2800-154 sumner blvd RALEIGH, NC 27616-2970
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Wearable Photoelectrocatalytic Personal Environmental Exposure Monitor
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43ES016400-01
Award Amount: $283,476.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) Conventional environmental exposure monitoring requires bulky instrumentation without providing a personalized history of environmental exposure. Valencell's long-term goal is to provide a noninvasive, low-profile , real-time, affordable personal environmental exposure monitor platform that is virtually unnoticed by the user for maximum performance and convenience. This platform will provide a quantitative, reliable, in-field measurement of personal-level, point-of- contact exposure to a variety of airborne chemical toxins of particular interest to health conscious end-users, sports enthusiasts, the immunocompromised, and medical professionals. Integrated Bluetooth communication protocols will be employed towards send ing real-time information wirelessly to a cell phone or PDA. In turn, this information can then be sent wirelessly to online databases for storing and processing information relating personal health with personal environmental factors and user demographics . The specific goal of this Phase I feasibility study is the development of a novel sensor element providing the flexibility of monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other reactive airborne species in the same compact device. Filament-heated tin oxide VOC sensors, the workhorse of solid-state VOC sensing, are sufficiently compact but require significant operating power and lack vapor specificity. Valencell's innovative appr oach is the development of a novel wide band gap (WBG) VOC sensor offering enhanced vapor specificity and dramatically reduced power consumption over standard metal oxide sensors. This innovation enables the development of a novel, low-power (lt10 mW), rea l-time (lt100 ms sampling), compact (lt 10 cm3), wearable VOC monitor capable of long-term battery-powered operation, high specificity, and broad sensitivity (0.1 to 1000 ppm). In this program, Valencell will fabricate sensor electrodes from novel WBG metal-oxide films deposited by North Carolina State University (NCSU). The functionality of these sensor electrodes will then be validated by evaluating the sensitivity and specificity of each electrode in a bell jar VOC test bed. The sensor electrodes will then be integrated into a self-contained VOC sensor prototype such that the predicted performance specifications can be statistically validated in the VOC test bed.

Principal Investigator:

Steven F. Leboeuf

Business Contact:

Francis S. Leboeuf
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 205493056
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No