(Press-News.org) Over the past several decades, the progress in micro fabrication technology has revolutionized the world in such fields as computing, signal processing, and automotive manufacturing.
Making various types of instruments smaller is another example of how the use of this technology has produced significant advancements. One such instrument is the gas chromatography system used in a number of scientific, medical, and industrial settings to separate and analyze dangerous, volatile organic compounds in gases, liquids, and solids.
For the past several years, Masoud Agah, an associate professor in Virginia Tech's Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has used a National Science Foundation award to develop a credit-card-sized gas chromatography platform that can analyze volatile compounds within seconds.
"The advantages that such miniaturized instruments can provide include the portability for analysis in remote locations with high throughput and low cost," Agah said. A war zone might be considered a remote location.
In conducting his research, Agah identified a problem that allowed him to develop his new technology. He explained that the research community has more actively pursued "the hybrid integrated approach" for the development of micro gas chromatography system and this method is relatively "less vibrant in the monolithic integrated approach."
Agah explained that the hybrid integration approach allows the major components of the system, to be miniaturized individually on separately fabricated chips. These components are then manually assembled using commercially available off-chip fluidic interconnects.
"This hybrid integration method leads to an increase in the fabrication cost since it involves the separate processing of the individual components," Agah added..
"The manual assembly of the individual components is really a cumbersome job and increases the overall weight and footprint of the micro gas chromatography system. To some extent; the hybrid integrated approach is inconsistent with the purpose of micro gas chromatography research since further improvement in terms of size, cost, and performance can be achieved by the single chip or monolithic integration of micro gas chromatography components" he added.
His most recent advancement in this area is the subject of an article appearing in a peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry called Lab on a Chip. Agah and his graduate students Muhammad Akbar (Islamabad, Pakistan), and Dr. Hamza Shakeel (Rawalpindi, Pakistan), developed a unique gas chromatography-on-chip module.
"The experimental results are really encouraging and address the deficiencies I described," Agah revealed. "The gas chromatography on-a-chip provides highly efficient separations and detection, reduced analysis times using temperature and flow programming, as well as fast detection response times suitable for high-speed gas chromatography."
The system's reliability was also impressive. Results were found to be highly repeatable with less than 10 percent variations, and no deterioration of the detector excitation electrodes was observed after 12 hours of continuous operation.
This work was primarily supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Science Foundation (NSF) under award numbers 1R21OH010330 and ECCS-1002279 respectively.
Amsterdam, April 13, 2015 - The taste and color of your wine depends on the methods used to produce it and the chemicals added during production, says research published in Analytical Chemistry Research. The researchers behind the study say wine bottles should carry information about what the manufacturers add during processing - including sugars and acids.
In the study, Dr. Heli Sirén and her colleagues from the University of Helsinki, Finland, analyzed the chemical profiles of eight Pinot Noir wines from different regions - the USA, France, New Zealand and Chile. ...
VTT is the first in the world to have developed a drug test printed on paper. VTT used antibodies - produced by methods of molecular biology - as morphine sensing molecules when creating this printing technology-based morphine test. Using printing technology to manufacture rapid tests enables high production volumes and low production costs.
A paper-based test enables a rapid analysis of whether a compound - in this case, morphine - is present in a given sample. Possible future applications of the developed test include drug testing at workplaces and in connection with ...
PHILADELPHIA - Emergency department patients have misperceptions about opioid dependence and want more information about their pain management options, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that patients seen in the emergency department for acute pain expressed a desire for better communication from physicians about their pain management options, along with discussion of the risks of opioid dependence.
The study used semi-structured ...
BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA - The latest issue of the journal Neurophotonics features a tribute to the brilliance and originality of Lawrence (Larry) Cohen as well as reports on the latest advances in voltage-sensitive dyes and multiple-site optical recording methods enabled by the work of Cohen and his team. Their research has paved the way for advances in functional imaging of the electrical activity of live tissue in real time, say journal editors.
Neurophotonics is published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. All articles in the journal are ...
Low weight at birth increased the risk of disability pension among men, reveals a new Finnish study published in the PLoS One. Around 20% of the cohort members born in 1934-44 retired on a disability pension between 1971 and 2011.
Early exit from the workforce due to a disability pension might be related to non-optimal growth during the fetal period, says Docent Mikaela von Bonsdorff from the University of Jyväskylä.
The leading causes of disability pension are mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Low birth weight was ...
Neuherberg, March 13, 2015. Elastases of white blood cells are involved in tissue destruction and can thus cause various diseases. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a new isoform which could be involved both in the pathogenesis of diseases such as pulmonary emphysema as well as in the failure of some therapy approaches. The results of the study have just been published in the journal Nature Communications.
A delicate balance of elastases and elastase inhibitors provides for regular tissue formation and destruction in the body. A perturbation ...
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Researchers studying the commonly used pain reliever acetaminophen found it has a previously unknown side effect: It blunts positive emotions.
In the study, participants who took acetaminophen reported less strong emotions when they saw both very pleasant and very disturbing photos, when compared to those who took placebos.
Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol, has been in use for more than 70 years in the United States, but this is the first time that this side effect has been documented.
Previous research ...
Richard III may have kept his severe scoliosis hidden until death
Body of a king part of propaganda of power
'Crookback Richard' myth and the treatment of his corpse linked
Last month saw the mortal remains of King Richard III reinterred at Leicester Cathedral, more than two years after University of Leicester archaeologists discovered his skeleton in a car park in August 2012.
The body of a mediaeval monarch was always under scrutiny, and Richard III's was no exception. In death, however, his body became subject to new forms of examination and interpretation: stripped ...
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research have found evidence for a mechanism by which certain food compounds could help protect our health.
Dietary studies have shown that people who eat the largest amounts of fruit and vegetables have a reduced risk of developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. There could be several reasons for this. Some fruit and vegetables naturally contain high amounts of compounds called polyphenols, which could provide protective health benefits.
In this study, Dr Paul Kroon and his team at IFR have shown that polyphenols ...
Burying the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, has been mooted as one geoengineering approach to ameliorating climate change. To be effective, trapping the gas in geological deposits would be the for the very long term, thousands of years. Now, a team in Brazil, writing in the International Journal of Global Warming has reviewed the risk assessments for this technology and suggests a lack of knowledge means we should be cautious of turning to this method rather than finding sustainable ways to reduce emissions at their source.