Navigation Links
Credit-card-sized platform for volatile compound analysis CAREER project goal

Blacksburg, Va. Developing a credit-card-sized gas chromatography platform that can analyze volatile compounds within seconds is the next step for Virginia Tech College of Engineering researcher Masoud Agah, who has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award to support his research.

Agah, an assistant professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an affiliate member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty, recently secured a five-year CAREER grant worth $400,000. This is the NSFs most prestigious award for creative junior faculty who are considered to be future leaders in their academic fields.

Gas chromatography is the primary technique used in a number of scientific, medical, and industrial settings to separate and analyze volatile compounds in gases, liquids, and solids.

Medical researchers, for example, can isolate volatile organic compounds in breath samples for early diagnosis or evaluation of certain metabolic conditions and diseases. Acetone in a patients breath can be a marker for diabetes, Agah said, and scientists have identified a group of compounds that appear to be markers for breast cancer.

Gas chromatography is used in the field of environmental monitoring to identify certain air pollutants and drinking water and groundwater contaminants. Homeland security and military personnel can rely on the technique to test air samples for chemical warfare agents, such as sarin and mustard gases. The technique also is widely used in food processing, the petrochemical industry, and a number of other fields.

Currently, gas chromatography systems consist of a gas tank, sample injector, separation column, and gas detector. Samples to be analyzed are vaporized and injected into the column, where compounds are separated and then passed over the detector. Conventional systems tend to be large, fragile, and relatively expensive table-top instruments.

Agah, who established the Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory ( at Virginia Tech shortly after joining the university in 2005, is attempting to develop a gas chromatographic architecture that will fit on a platform the size of a credit card and will separate and analyze a complex range of compounds in only a few seconds.

To create this new architecture, which he has named GC Matrix, Agah is employing MEMS technology. In his laboratory, he is developing gas chromatographic columns with heaters, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and thermal conductivity detectors that can fit on micro-chips. Agah already has developed columns that can separate a limited number of volatile compounds and chemical warfare agent simulants in less than 10 seconds.

In addition to significantly improving the speed, portability, and performance, Agahs GC Matrix will consume far less power than conventional instruments.

Once perfected, the GC Matrix could be used in a number of industrial and scientific applications. The apparatus also could be effective in saving lives during crises. Emergency workers, for instance, could easily carry GC Matrix instruments into areas devastated by floods to test water for toxic chemicals, and soldiers on the battlefield could test the air within seconds for signs of chemical warfare agents.

Every CAREER award project includes an educational component. Agah will develop a new university laboratory course on MEMS technology. He also is working with Virginia Techs National Society of Black Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Teacher in Service Program to establish the High-School Microsystems Engineering Program.


Contact: Liz Crumbley
Virginia Tech

Related biology technology :

1. QSB Anti-Virulence Platform Inhibits Biofilm Formation by Staphylococcus Aureus MRSA and Candida sp
2. Egenix Licenses Harvard Anti-Cancer Platform
3. Nikon Instruments New NIS-Elements C Delivers Comprehensive Confocal and Widefield Imaging Capabilities in Single Unifying Software Platform
4. Codexis Launches Codex(TM) MicroCyp Platform to Produce Drug Metabolites and Novel Lead Compounds
5. Cellix Ltd. Launches the First Semi-Automated, High Throughput Cell-Adhesion Assay Platform
6. UC Berkeley Expands Molecular Toxicology Curriculum to Include GeneGos Platform
7. Rosetta Genomics Selects PCR as Platform for its microRNA-based Diagnostics to be Launched in 2008, Licensed Nanogens MGB Probe Technology
8. H&V Introduces HVision Technology Platform to Accelerate Development of Breakthrough Products
9. Enigma Diagnostics to Develop Clinical Diagnostics Platform for UK National Chlamydia Screening Programme
10. New Data Presented on Immunocytokine Fusion Protein Further Supports Broad Anti-Cancer Potential Of Peregrines Anti-PS Technology Platform
11. Masimo Launches Patient SafetyNet and Showcases the Rainbow SET Upgradable Noninvasive Monitoring Platform at 2007 ASA Annual Meeting
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Credit-card-sized platform for volatile compound analysis CAREER project goal
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video ... trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with ... tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding ... CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer ... data will then be employed to support the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):