Vapor Generation

Overview

Generation of precise low concentration vapors, particularly in real time, has always been a challenge in the calibration and test of very sensitive instruments, including the human nose. MicroFab incorporated (1) the ability to precisely generate droplets containing minute amounts of the substance of interest, and (2) their fast vaporization onto a heater, in systems that are used to create low concentration vapors in several applications: biomedical (odorant vapors), sensor test & calibration (explosive vapors), and entertainment & virtual reality (aroma vapors).

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Olfaction

alt Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and Schizophrenia cause impairments in odor detection and odor identification. Since the olfactory deficits can be detected presymptomatically, the use of olfactory testing is being considered as a component of the battery of tests used for their early detection. MicroFab has developed under a NIH grant a new digital solid state olfactometer that allows the study olfaction in precise and quantitative manner. This new olfactometer is based on ink-jet microdispensing technology and was used to quantify olfactory thresholds to odorants, in nanomolar quantities, in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease patients, and normal controls.

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Sensor Calibration

The need to detect very low levels of illicit substances (chemical and biological agents and explosives) has become, after September 11, 2001, a priority for federal, state and local government agencies. Systems capable of detecting minute amounts of the above materials are required in high security areas. Trace detection - detection of very small amounts - of explosives identifies people or things that have come in contact with explosives. Trace detectors require for their testing and evaluation low concentration vapors of the substance of interest. The ink-jet based vapor generator can be used for sensor calibration at low concentration.

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Aroma Jet

alt Vapor generation technology can be also used to create vapors of fragrances and odorants. Such aroma generation equipment can be incorporated in virtual reality type systems (training, entertainment eg. games and movie theaters) to enhance the user’s environment. Other applications include kiosks for marketing or point of sale tools for retailers.

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