NEW YORK, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists in Wales have developed a
biosensor capable of detecting and identifying very low levels of
explosives in the atmosphere -- a technology with potential to be a major
contributor in the battle against terrorism.
The biosensor was developed by a team from the School of Chemistry at
the University of Wales Bangor (UWB) led by Professor Maher Kalaji, head of
the School of Chemistry.
With support from the Welsh Assembly Government's Knowledge
Exploitation Fund, the team has successfully developed the biosensor,
patented the technology and is currently working towards a prototype for
The small biosensor device, referred to as the "nanodog," employs
nanotechnology to achieve its sensitivity. The sensor can detect explosives
in the part-per-trillion range. It uses enzymes to detect explosives --
even if they are concealed, not only detecting very small amounts of
explosives, but also can be developed to reveal the identity of the
Potential applications include screening airport passengers and
luggage, and working alongside sniffer dogs to reduce the threat of
terrorism. The compact nature of the device also offers opportunity for
passive sensing in areas with security requirements and will, for example,
sense explosives as passengers walk though security portals without
intruding on their personal space as current technologies do.
Based on presentations and demonstrations, governmental and private
sector organizations in the U.S. and Europe have expressed interest,
indicating that the still-young technology is extremely effective in
response time and detection levels.
UWB will be a major partner in the development of sensors for
explosives with its biosensor a core technology in the project, which
brings together a consortium of 26 EU organizations.
"This is an exciting project, and support from the Knowledge
Exploitation Fund has been invaluable -- without this resource we would not
have been able to undertake proof-of-concept work, a vital early step
toward product development," Professor Kalaji said.
"This latest project could have a huge impact in the fight against
terrorism, and support from the Knowledge Exploitation Fund illustrates the
importance of working with academia to provide funding and support that
enables the commercialization of research," Andrew Davies, Minister for
Enterprise Innovation and Networks, noted.
SOURCE Welsh Assembly Government