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SBIR Phase I: Engineered Sensors for the Pulmonary Forced Oscillation Technique

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Feather Sensors, LLC
1122 North High Street Millville, NJ 08332-2529
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: SBIR Phase I: Engineered Sensors for the Pulmonary Forced Oscillation Technique
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1248714
Award Amount: $149,785.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will advance the development of a new pulmonary testing instrument. The innovative device utilizes a strain gauge to measure pulmonary airflow, an indicator critical in monitoring the health of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The research challenge is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a customized strain gauge for this device. This will involve fabricating and testing thin film sensors and comparing their efficacy to the commercial sensor now used. The customized sensors will be developed in a university-based clean room and tested against the commercial sensors by comparing signal to noise measurements. Research efforts will aim at improving signal to noise and minimizing non-linear responses seen in the commercial sensor. For this proposal, the specific application of the new sensor will be in a device that will measure pulmonary airflow resistance using the Forced Oscillation Technique (FOT). The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to market an instrument that has significant advantages over those currently in use to measure lung airflow of pulmonary disease patients. An estimated 36.4 million Americans suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Successful development of the proposed assistive technology will offer a low-cost, easily cleaned, readily mobile testing device that is adaptable to home use. The specific application proposed for this device, forced oscillation technique (FOT), has a significant advantage over standard spirometry, as it does not depend upon deliberate cooperation of the patient to perform required respiratory maneuvers. It is therefore useful for comatose patients, infants and children, mentally and physically impaired individuals, and even animals. FOT devices are new developments; they are being used primarily in research settings. The device proposed here will be extremely competitive in the marketplace, primarily due to its low cost, but also to its simple design and ease of use. Software developed for his device will make the wireless transfer of data from the patient?s home to the physician?s office effortless.

Principal Investigator:

Charles Forbes

Business Contact:

Charles Forbes
Small Business Information at Submission:

Feather Sensors, LLC
1122 North High Street Millville, NJ 08332-2529

EIN/Tax ID: 800505395
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes