SBIR Phase I: A Cell-based Wireless Sensor for Stand-off Detection of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project involves using olfactory neuron cells integrated with electronic circuits, and interfacing with a wireless hardware based on ZigBee technology for detection at a standoff distance. Recent experiments with pouched rats have demonstrated that their highly sensitive olfactory system can detect and recognize vapors diffusing from IEDs. The vapor molecules of the explosive bind to specialized receptors on the cilia of olfactory neuron cells in the nose, triggering an electrical response that propagates to the brain. This approach takes advantage of the sensitivity and specificity of olfactory sensory neurons, which are unequaled by any state-of-the-art human-made sensor technologies. High-sensitivity front-end amplifier circuits, fabricated on the same silicon die, are able to detect action potentials and amplify the electrical signals toward subsequent transmission through a ZigBee wireless system. There is urgent need on the part of the U.S. military to develop effective IED detection systems since IEDs account for the majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq. By modest alterations, the same technology can be used in the transportation of sensitive goods such as medicine and weapons as well as security and protection of sensitive assets. Monitoring and protecting working and living environments against harmful pathogens is another market.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Virtual EM Inc.
2019 Georgetown Blvd Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Number of Employees: