"We can monitor every location, every individual," says Son.
Another major difference besides gravity is the size of the individual, as air particle densities vary with distance from the ground. "There's a distinct particle difference by height," Son notes.
During the first year of the grant, Washington University will be developing a device to cut test particles down to nano sizes with which the team will test the sensor. To be able to measure the sensor's performance accurately, the researchers will need standard size particles. The second step of the grant is developing a condensation mechanism, where the air particles are condensed and collected. This is Son's role. The third phase will be to develop an optical detection module to measure the particles that are collected in the sensor. Finally, they put the components of the system and test it. It is only after the second year that the exact shape of the sensor will have been derived. In the third year of the grant, the system will be calibrated and enhanced. Field testing will take place in the fourth year.
Once the wearable sensor technology has been successfully demonstrated, field tests will be with 8-year-old children participating in the University of Cincinnati Department of Environmental Health Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS). Data generated by these field tests will help the researchers identify areas where the children are exposed to the highest concentrations of particulates.
Professor Son is very pleased to receive this major award in only his second year at the University of Cincinnati. Says Son, "The experience I gained working at NASA helped me to understand how the federal agencies work. The experience I gained working at Samsung Corporation helped me understand how to link research to product development. I drew upon that experience in proposing this work to NIH."
|Contact: Wendy Hart Beckman|
University of Cincinnati