TechConnect Innovation Spotlight: Precise Sensor Nanomaterial

March 24, 2014 01:43 PM EST By: Sarah Wenning

Louisiana State University, TechConnect 2013 National Innovation Awardee, Washington, DC

TechConnect recently had a chance to speak with Dirk Benedict, Marketing Coordinator at the Office of Intellectual Property, Commercialization & Development, Louisiana State University (LSU). Mr. Benedict attended the 2013 TechConnect World-National Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C.

The LSU invention is a low-cost, biocompatible, conductive nanocomposite material that can be incorporated into a small sensor. The resulting sensor can potentially detect very small changes in pressure and strain.  “We would like to collaborate with industry partners to apply the diaphragm in a sensor for a desired commercial application,” said Benedict.

“The TechConnect conference was well-tailored to technology transfer offices. It gave us the chance to meet with our university peers and discuss our intellectual property with technology scouts from major companies. Face-to-face interaction is important in developing relationships, and TechConnect provided that opportunity,” said Benedict. 

LSU’s novel material is a conductive nanocomposite that is low-cost and biocompatible. When incorporated into a sensing diaphragm, it can potentially detect pressure changes less than 10 Pascal. The diaphragm can be micrometer sized and can sense the differential pressure between two points in both air and liquid media. Though experiments have focused on pressure, this invention also has potential to measure other forces like strain. The technology can be used to easily manufacture diaphragms of various sizes and patterns for different sensitivities depending on the application. A patent application has been filed on this invention and is published (Publication number: US 20120266685 A1 entitled “Apparatus and method for nanocomposite sensors”).

“Promoting the sensor technology at TechConnect had value beyond raising awareness of an individual invention. Companies interested in the sensor also wanted to find out more about the LSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and LSU mechanical device innovations. We always appreciate the opportunity to present a more expanded view of the university’s offerings and expertise,” said Benedict.

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