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Anand Gadre Ushers In Nano-Bio Plastic Age

 

Sensor Patch on Human Arm


Nano-viruses that can find and combat cancer.  Molecular-sized sensors to detect chemicals and toxins in the air. Tiny cooling chips that can replace compressors in cars, refrigerators and air conditioners.

Nanotechnology experts claim we'll have the scientific know-how to construct devices such as these in as little as 10 years. But in order for them to have the widespread adoption needed to truly revolutionize our lives, we don't need to just make them - we have to make them affordably.

Enter Anand Gadre. An assistant professor at CNSE since October, Gadre is a known expert in polymeric Bio-MEMS, or more simply put, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems made of plastic materials for biological applications.

Gadre's current research focuses on the fabrication of polymeric biofluidic-transdermal microsystems, or tiny systems that can give out immediate biological readings simply by placing a small patch on the top of the skin. Gadre and his co-workers have already developed and modified this technology under the supervision of Professor John F. Currie (at the Physics Department, Georgetown University, Washington DC) to read -- with absolute accuracy -- a person's glucose and lactate levels using enzymetic detection techniques within seconds and without breaking skin. Future applications may include cancer detection.

Perhaps most significantly, each "patch" can be made for as little as 25 cents, and the polymer materials -unlike the plastics we're familiar with - can be completely biocompatible and biodegradable.

"Besides low cost, there are a lot of advantages to polymeric Bio-MEMS," said Gadre. "The prototype glucose monitoring device can already measure glucose content non-invasively. But in the future, these systems may also be able to used for nanoscale transdermal drug delivery, sensing biomolecules such as glucose and dispensing insulin as needed, particularly for diabetic applications. The result is similar to recreating the pancreas using systems that are many, many times smaller than a speck of dust."

Gadre's research is also involved in characterizing the structural, electrical and optical properties of conducting and insulating polymers. He has developed a novel one step electrochemical polymerization technique using conducting+insulating polymeric composites that can be used for the fabrication of polymeric gas sensors to detect the hazardous gases such as Ammonia and Chlorine.

In addition to his extensive research on developing polymers for micro-sensors and chemical and biological sensors, Gadre has worked on developing polymeric light emitting diodes (LED). LEDs, wich have widespread application, from lighting watches and PDAs to transmitting information for remote controls, are currently made primarily out of aluminum-gallium-arsenide. Creating flexible polymeric LEDs could enable the creation of light up devices that are hardier, more flexible, and considerably less expensive.

"Polymeric LEDs are a major focus of polymer research throughout the scientific community," Gadre said. "Picture a light-up map with real-time information made out of polymer film that you could fold and unfold.  That's not out of the question in the next decade."

Anand Gadre comes to SUNY from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he was Managing Scientist at the Georgetown Advanced Electronics Laboratory (GAEL). He earned his Ph.D. in the University Department of Chemical Technology (U.D.C.T.) from the University of Bombay in India in 2001


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