Navigation Links
New material could improve safety for first responders to chemical hazards
Date:5/1/2011

A new kind of sensor could warn emergency workers when carbon filters in the respirators they wear to avoid inhaling toxic fumes have become dangerously saturated.

In a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Tyco Electronics describe how they made the carbon nanostructures and demonstrate their potential use as microsensors for volatile organic compounds.

First responders protect themselves from such vapors, whose composition is often unknown, by breathing through a canister filled with activated charcoal a gas mask. Airborne toxins stick to the carbon in the filter, trapping the dangerous materials.

As the filters become saturated, chemicals will begin to pass through. The respirator can then do more harm than good by providing an illusion of safety. But there is no easy way to determine when the filter is spent. Current safety protocols base the timing of filter changes on how long the user has worn the mask.

"The new sensors would provide a more accurate reading of how much material the carbon in the filters has actually absorbed," said team leader Michael Sailor, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and bioengineering at UC San Diego. "Because these carbon nanofibers have the same chemical properties as the activated charcoal used in respirators, they have a similar ability to absorb organic pollutants."

Sailor's team assembled the nanofibers into repeating structures called photonic crystals that reflect specific wavelengths, or colors, of light. The wing scales of the Morpho butterfly, which give the insect its brilliant iridescent coloration, are natural examples of this kind of structure.

The sensors are an iridescent color too, rather than black like ordinary carbon. That color changes when the fibers absorb toxins a visible indication of their capacity for absorbing additional chemicals.

The agency that certifies respirators in the U.S., the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, has long sought such a sensor but the design requirements for a tiny, sensitive, inexpensive device that requires little power, have proved difficult to meet.

The materials that the team fabricated are very thin less than half the width of a human hair. Sailor's group has previously placed similar photonic sensors on the tips of optical fibers less than a millimeter across and shown that they can be inserted into respirator cartridges. And the crystals are sensitive enough to detect chemicals such as toluene at concentrations as low as one part per million.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Sailor
scinews@ucsd.edu
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. China Green Material Technologies, Inc. Announces Change of Auditor to Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP
2. Keynote Announced for Virtual Event: Developments in Materials for Medical Applications
3. Grove School professor leads new metamaterials center
4. China Green Material Technologies, Inc. Reports 2010 Financial Results
5. Researchers find replacement for rare material indium tin oxide
6. New materials based on carbon nanoparticles
7. MEMS Materials and Processes Handbook -- a comprehensive, practical resource
8. Search for advanced materials aided by discovery of hidden symmetries in nature
9. MIT engineers devise new way to inspect materials used in airplanes
10. Only the weak survive?: Pitt team adds more give for stronger self-healing materials
11. Argentum Medical Issues Response to Recent Decision in Litigation With Noble Biomaterials
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New material could improve safety for first responders to chemical hazards
(Date:4/27/2017)... and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. ... (NASDAQ: UTHR ) today announced that its ... $250 million of the company,s common stock. This program ... December 31, 2017. Purchases may be made in the ... transactions from time to time as determined by United ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Arrowhead ... ( http://www.paintherapeuticsummit.com ) is coming to San Diego, CA on September 27-28, 2017. ... learn about the latest advances in the treatment of various types of pain. ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... , ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... 2017 Borlaug CAST Communication Award goes to Jayson Lusk, a consummate communicator who ... of media to advocate for science, as he explains how innovation and growth ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... on FDA’s GMP expectations for phase I clinical trials comes to Tampa, San ... various biotechnology and pharma professionals representing FDA regulated organizations such as Pfizer Inc., ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle ... around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Optimove , ... by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today ... Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, ... product and replenishment recommendations to their customers based ... predictions of customer intent drawn from a complex ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... Germany , March 16, 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity ... Continue Reading ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide ... Used ... Systems) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):