Navigation Links
Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air Force Base

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A lab-on-a-chip technology that measures trace amounts of air contaminants in homes was successfully field-tested by researchers at the University of Michigan.

Even in the presence of 50 other indoor air contaminants, the U-M-built microsystem found levels of the targeted contaminant so low that it would be analogous to finding a particular silver dollar in a roll stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City.

"This is the first (known) study of its kind," said Ted Zellers, professor in the U-M School of Public Health and the Department of Chemistry, and project director.

"Most lab-on-a-chip technologies are used for biomedical analysis of liquids," Zellers said. "Our technology is designed for monitoring contaminants in the air, and this groundbreaking study is the first to prove that it can work outside the laboratory in real-life applications."

The applications are potentially limitless because the device, called a microfabricated gas chromatograph, can be tailored to detect any contaminants, Zellers said. For instance, the team is adapting the same technology to detect certain industrial chemicals in the breath and saliva of exposed workers, biomarkers of cancer and other chronic disease, and markers of explosives for airport screening applications.

The Department of Defense contracted the U-M team to adapt and test two prototypes devices in homes near Utah's Hill Air Force Base to measure indoor concentrations of trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE was used on military bases until the 1970s, and improper disposal caused TCE to become a pervasive groundwater contaminant that can seep into homes above plumes.

"The core microfabricated silicon chips, when stacked, are roughly the size of a wristwatch," Zellers said. They require less power and can be made smaller and less expensively than traditionally manufactured counterparts.

The microsystem was designed and built by faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems in the College of Engineering.

Zellers said the group is currently negotiating with several companies interested in commercializing the technology.


Contact: Laura Bailey
University of Michigan

Related biology news :

1. Made-in-Singapore H5N1 diagnostic kit -- detects all known strains of H5N1 virus with a single test
2. A new method detects traces of veterinary drugs in baby food
3. A non-invasive intracellular thermometer with fluorescent proteins has been created
4. Scientists trace evolutionary history of what mammals eat
5. Friendly to a fault, yet tense: Personality traits traced in brain
6. Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women
7. New study: Snacking on raisins significantly reduces overall post-meal blood sugar levels
8. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in Arctic coastal seas
9. UCSB anthropologists finds high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Amerindian women
10. Cardio fitness levels of breast cancer patients may affect survival
11. Mercury in dolphins: Study compares toxin levels in captive and wild sea mammals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , ... Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary ... Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate the ...      (Logo: ) ... provide their customers enhanced security to access and ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... -- The new GEZE SecuLogic access control ... system solution for all door components. It can be ... interface with integration authorization management system, and thus fulfills ... dimensions of the access control and the optimum integration ... considerable freedom of design with regard to the doors. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity ... intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at ... result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: