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UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
Date:9/4/2007

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Engineers at UC Riversides Bourns College of Engineering have received a four-year $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to be shared with researchers at Arizona State University, to develop a key tool for exploring the environmental roots of common diseases.

Employing nanotechnology to create the tool, the research project will be part of a new nationwide effort by NIH to better understand the underlying causes of increasingly common diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, arthritis, and Alzheimers disease, and the role that environmental exposures play in these diseases.

The project at UCR will involve the development of devices not available currently: inexpensive 4 by 4 badges, attachable to a persons clothes, for monitoring diesel and gasoline exhaust exposure.

The sensor we are developing would for the first time allow monitoring of over 40 components of diesel and gasoline exhaust simultaneously in real-time, said Ashok Mulchandani, the principal investigator of the grant and a professor of chemical and environmental engineering. Some of these exhaust toxics have been shown to cause respiratory illness and cancer.

The light-weight badges will each house an array of electrochemical nanosensors for detecting and measuring exhaust. The measurements will be used eventually in studies focusing on what role diesel and/or gasoline exhaust play in causing disease. The badges also will be equipped with low-power microelectronics for power management, data collection and transfer, and signal processing.

This NIH grant is a wonderful validation of the leadership role we play in sensor technology, said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. The research this grant enables also supports our mission of providing excellent research and inno
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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