UoH research team develops novel sensor

The fabricated Helmholtz PA cell is made of aluminium and detecting acetone is a vital biomarker in diagnosing various diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and lung cancer.

August 09, 2023 11:27 am | Updated 11:27 am IST - HYDERABAD

A research team from the School of Physics’ Advanced Centre of Research in High Energy Material (ACRHEM) of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) announced on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, the development of a high “Q” Helmholtz Photoacoustic (PA) cell sensor with a movable piston arrangement for low-level detection of acetone biomarker.

The fabricated Helmholtz PA cell is made of aluminium and detecting acetone is a vital biomarker in diagnosing various diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and lung cancer.

“We have achieved unparalleled sensitivity, detecting acetone at levels as low as parts per trillion (PPT). This holds immense promise for non-invasive medical diagnostics and may revolutionise disease detection. It can also be used for detection of trace explosives and atmospheric pollutants, volatile solvents and others,” said ACRHEM’s A.K. Chaudhary and research scholar Arjun V.S. Kidavu.

The innovation is currently under consideration by the DRDO, Ministry of Defence, patent division for a final stage of notification, informed an official release. The photoacoustic is an absorption technique invented by Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor of the telephone) in 1880. The technique finds potential application in detection of gaseous pollutants (available in low concentration) and biomedical imaging.

It is based on the detection of acoustic signals by solid/liquid gaseous molecules in a specially designed Photoacoustic (PA) cell. The PA cell acts as a resonance cavity and helps to amplify weak acoustic/ pressure waves produced. The current PA sensor has several advantages over the existing photonics techniques where low-cost acoustic microphones have replaced the expensive photonics detectors.

The work is published in the recent issue of “Spectrochimica Acta A : Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2023-07-28”, added the release.

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