By Tim Crosby
CARBONDALE, Ill -- A team of Southern Illinois University Carbondale researchers, students and entrepreneurs brought home a top prize in a national technology innovation contest.
The team won fourth place at the Global Venture Challenge 2010, a contest based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The SIUC team was one of just 22 finalists from five countries competing for cash prizes at the contest, aimed at finding innovative ideas from graduate students to address the world’s needs for energy and security.
The team pitched the so-called “nanoscopic electronic nose,” a device in which tiny nano-scale wires stand in for the biological smell detector cells present in a mammal’s nose. Because of their tiny size and chemical reactivity, nanowires can detect extremely small concentrations of chemicals in the parts-per-billion range. Sensors based on this technology also are extremely stable and power efficient.
When assembled in arrays of sensors and coordinated by software, such sensors can form a sort of electronic nose that can send detailed information about the environment. Applications might include very small, power-efficient sensors that can send doctors real-time information about a patient’s blood glucose level, for example, or lead to improved radio frequency identification tags -- often used in the retail sales industry, but with many other potential applications -- that can sniff the air for explosives or other chemicals.
The team presenting the device included Andrei Kolmakov, assistant professor in the Department of Physics; Victor Sysoev, a former visiting Fulbright Scholar from Saratov State Technical University in Russia; physics doctoral student Evgheni Stlecov; Renee Favreau, a senior in marketing; Jenni Janssen, assistant director of the SIUC Center for Innovation; Gina Montgomery, a senior in industrial design; and Maryon King, associate professor of marketing. Read More...