Nano-impedance Chemical Detection

Acute or chronic exposure to industrial/agricultural chemicals and heavy metals, commonly referred to as Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) or Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs), has been known to have an adverse impact on both short-term mission capability and the longer term health of warfighters. The likelihood of exposure to and threat from TICs can increase significantly due to several factors including availability of TICs to adversaries and proximity of TICs to military operations. To help identify and understand this threat, sensitive, label-free detection of toxic industrial chemicals in a low-cost, miniaturized format is a critical need in biodefense and homeland security.

CFDRC is developing a novel, hand-portable nanoimpedance-based chemical sensor that is capable of detecting trace amounts of hazardous chemicals in environmental, aqueous samples. The sensor design is based on several innovations that make label-free chemical detection possible, including (a) nanofluidic technology that offers a unique advantage over conventional microchannel platforms in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) yielding improved sensitivity and low false alarms, and (b) flow-induced differential (or dynamic) impedance with fine-grain spectral response for high specificity multi-analyte detection.

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