SBIR Phase I: A Cell-based Wireless Sensor for Stand-off Detection of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,947.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0839598
Agency Tracking Number:
0839598
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Virtual EM Inc.
2019 Georgetown Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
118732838
Principal Investigator:
Tayfun Ozdemir
PhD
(734) 222-4558
tayfun@virtualem.com
Business Contact:
Tayfun Ozdemir
PhD
(734) 222-4558
tayfun@virtualem.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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