HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Shifting liquid crystals may serve as personal, portable chemical sensors, Science researchers report

Liquid crystals formed from molecules weakly tethered to a nanotextured surface could form the basis of highly sensitive, wearable sensors to detect personal exposure to certain synthetic organic chemicals, researchers report in the 17 August 2001 issue of the journal Science.

Such sensors could be used to detect environmental exposure to residential pesticides, monitor chemical markers of food spoilage, and could possibly serve some day as sensors for certain toxic nerve gases such as sarin, according to Science co-author Nicholas L. Abbott of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Techniques to detect such compounds already exist, but these methods (like mass spectrometry) are mostly confined to the laboratory--too bulky and complex to provide real-time, portable detection.

"These lab methods are extremely sensitive, but they're never going to be the basis for measuring personal exposure. We wanted to create something that could be worn like a badge, like those worn to detect radiation," says Abbott.

The sensor devised by Abbott and co-author Rahul R. Shah of the 3M Corporation (formerly of University of Wisconsin) consists of an ultrathin gold film with nanoscale corrugation. The surface of the gold film is then dotted with protruding chemical receptors that weakly anchor liquid crystal in a well-defined orientation along the film's surface.

When these receptors are exposed to the specific chemical that is the object of detection, however, they bond more strongly with that target chemical than they do with the liquid crystal. In effect, the target chemical muscles in on the liquid crystal's territory, shoving it away from the receptors. This displaces the liquid crystal into a new orientation that is controlled by the underlying surface texture, and the new orientation is visible to the naked eye as a change in the sensor's color or brightness.

On a surface with carboxylic acid receptors, for instance
'"/>

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
gpinhols@aaas.org
202-326-6421
American Association for the Advancement of Science
16-Aug-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Favorite liquid revisited
2. Diabetes therapies and liquid memory may develop from micro fluid research, Science researchers say
3. Hope for nano-scale delivery of medicine using a light beam to move liquid through tiny tubes
4. Penn engineers develop fuel cell that uses liquid diesel, the first such device to run on a widely available fuel
5. Zooming liquid particles show technological promise
6. Researchers develop liquid form of DNA
7. Microbes trick provides a template for willowy crystals
8. With toxic crystals, bacterium targets - and takes out nematodes
9. Patented process preserves transplant tissues/organs
10. Pocket gophers serve as ecosystem engineers
11. UAB creates the first Internet server to search for genetic diversity

Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/4/2014)... amount of death at the right time might actually ... research that could help in understanding animal populations, pest ... a paper in the journal Trends in Ecology ... colleagues conclude that the kind of positive population effect ... or mortality, depends on the size and developmental stage ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... , November 4, 2014   ... market growth   Fuel3D , a developer ... a funding round totaling $6.4 million (£4 million). This funding ... secured earlier this year and paves the way for the ... The funding round was led by Chimera Partners ...
(Date:11/3/2014)... of Colorado Cancer Center study published in ... Sciences describes the activity of a recently discovered ... or IL-37. It has been known to limit inflammation ... adaptive immune system: IL-37 inhibits the ability of the ... "Knowing this mechanism that underlies IL-37,s effect on the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 3PNAS: From HIV to cancer, IL-37 regulates immune system 2
(Date:11/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Respiratory therapy students ... proper management of life-like respiratory ailments using the ... . Grand Rapids-based, Michigan Instruments Inc. developers of ... of the respiratory simulation units to the pro-gram, ... Valley and Muskegon Community College are collaborating to ...
(Date:11/21/2014)...   TRU-D SmartUVC LLC and its UK partners, ... disinfection robot, TRU-D SmartUVC, at FIS 2014 in ... 26 at Stand 23. The conference, hosted by ... largest infection-related event of its kind and brings ... the leading events of its type throughout the world. This ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... 20, 2014 The California ... research organization representing leading California academic institutions, biotechnology, ... PwC US today released a report revealing ... industry growth. The trend shows a 4 percent ... California Biomedical Industry Report indicates that, while ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... 21, 2014 Why did Stephen Hawking ... Einstein so instantly recognizable? Why have they become icons ... and author Hilton Ratcliffe seeks out the answers to ... all to do with science. In " Stephen Hawking ... November 21, 2014), Ratcliffe puts it plainly: , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 3TRU-D SmartUVC to Showcase Superbug-Killing Robot at FIS 2014 2TRU-D SmartUVC to Showcase Superbug-Killing Robot at FIS 2014 3California Healthcare Institute and PwC Report Boom in California’s Biomedical Industry 2California Healthcare Institute and PwC Report Boom in California’s Biomedical Industry 3California Healthcare Institute and PwC Report Boom in California’s Biomedical Industry 4“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 2“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 3“Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks” Sparks Controversy in Science World 4
Cached News: