The two collectively have more than 65 years in scientific research, with a significant portion in industry -- Chase recently retired after 33 years at DuPont, and Rabolt worked for 20 years at IBM before joining the UD faculty in 1996.
A new vision for diagnosing eye diseases
Besides environmental monitoring and even a potentially remote way to sample toxins to aid soldiers and hazardous materials (hazmat) responders, the scientists see applications in industry to help maintain and improve manufacturing processes, ensuring, for example, the purity of pharmaceutical drugs or the thickness of paints or polymer coatings.
The detector also may bring new medical applications into focus.
For Rabolt, that became apparent when he visited his ophthalmologist's office and was diagnosed with developing cataracts.
"They've been developing for years, but now they are big enough to scatter light, and that's the only way to diagnose cataracts currently," he says. "If we can 'spectroscopically' detect a small amount of protein in a person's teardrops, we may be able to provide a new diagnostic tool for detecting cataracts early on and potentially many other eye diseases."
For Dan Frost, his three-credit graduate course a few summers ago as a UD graduate student expanded his horizons rapidly into the world of business, where he is now chief operating officer of PAIR Technologies.
"It's very rewarding to be involved in something that's going to really benefit society," Frost says. "Initially, we will do the manufacturing here," he notes of the company's office suite in Delaware Technology Park. "We plan on doing the assembly locally. That's a win-win for us and for Delaware."
|Contact: Tracey Bryant|
University of Delaware