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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of California Riverside

Wearable Nanosensor Array for Real-Time Monitoring of Diesel and Gasoline Exhaust

Ashok Mulchandani


Project Description


Diesel and gasoline exhaust, produced when an engine burns fuel, is a complex mixture of gases and fine particles. Recent studies have linked respiratory diseases and cancer to exposure to gasoline and diesel exhaust. These diseases, however, are also attributed to genetic susceptibility.


Establishing a direct linkage between these diseases and exhaust requires reliable and reproducible quantitative measure of exposure. The overall aim of this collaborative research has been to create, evaluate and validate an autonomous/self-contained wearable, approximately 4" by 4" sensor array for real-time monitoring of inhalation exposure to the gaseous components of internal combustion engine exhaust.


The fully integrated light weight sensor can be worn as badge and is similar in size to a gamma radiation counter.  The badge houses conductometric and amperometric sensors as well as low-power fully integrated microelectronics for power management, data collection, signal processing, and wireless communications. Arrays of independent sensors can offer much more analytical information on personal exposure and, thus, hold a great potential for selective and accurate monitoring of low concentrations of mobile source air toxics and other relevant pollutants in real-time.


The conductometric and amperometric platforms have strengths that are complementary to each other and are extremely 1C compatible. Advanced data processing will be used for generating distinct response patterns and detecting the individual compounds in gaseous mixtures. The integration of two powerful detection schemes along with an intelligent data processing dramatically increases the gathered information on personal exposure to offer remarkable reliability along with broad scope while meeting the portability requirements of decentralized detection systems.


Our multidisciplinary expertise, extensive preliminary data and successful past collaboration laid the groundwork for this activity. The overall goals this research supports include:


  • Developing, optimizing, characterizing and testing conductometric nanosensor arrays,
  • Developing, optimizing, characterizing and testing microfabricated amperometric sensor arrays
  • Developing integrated microelectronics for optimal power management, data collection, signal processing, and remote communication,
  • Integrating conductometric and amperometric sensor arrays in a single platform with incorporated microelectronics, and
  • Testing and validating the wearable sensor array by monitoring in real-time diesel and gasoline exhausts under realistic exposure conditions.  


See this project's publications and patents 

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