Super Sensitive, Groundbreaking Smart Sensor “Tastes” and “Sniffs”

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Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have developed an innovative sensing system capable of identifying and distinguishing different stimuli. The system is based on origami (the art of paper folding) combined with ink developed at the Technion.

The Israeli researchers have developed an innovative sensing system capable of identifying and distinguishing different stimuli. The research, just published in the journal Nature Communications, was led by Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion’s Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering and the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, and Dr. Min Zhang, who did his post-doctoral fellowship with him. Dr. Zhang is currently an associate professor at East China Normal University.

“Today, there is significant demand for multi-purpose sensing systems for specific purposes,” said Prof. Haick. “These systems have great potential as applications in medicine, counter terrorism, food safety, environmental monitoring, ‘The Internet of things’ and more. The problem is that existing technologies, such as gas chromatography, have many disadvantages, including high cost.”

The challenge facing the researchers was to develop a single system sensitive enough to identify and distinguish among different stimuli. They say they developed a solution inspired by nature.  “When we think about the human sensory system, we think of a whole that brings all the data to the brain in a format that it understands. That inspired our development, which is meant to concentrate in a different place all the environmental data we want to monitor. It is a multi-purpose sensory system that absorbs the stimuli and distinguishes among them.”

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