Method and apparatus for sensing presence and estimating concentration of a target molecule, using nanotechnology.
This invention from NASA uses a nanotechnology approach that works with moving fluids (liquids and gases) to determine when a selected target molecule is present or absent in a fluid and to estimate concentration of the target molecule in the fluid. This technology can also estimate the possible presence of a second (different) target molecule in the fluid, by analyzing differences in resonant frequencies of vibration of a thin beam suspended in the fluid, after the fluid has moved across the beam. This approach allows a distinction to be made between the presence of different first and second target molecules and indicates when the target molecule has saturated the sensor. This invention also distinguishes between the presence of a given target molecule and the presence of a molecule that competes with the target molecule for attachment.