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University Licenses Research to Detect Airborne Toxins

Nosang Myung (University of California at Riverside)

Nosang Myung (University of California at Riverside)

University of California at Riverside is licensing an engineering professor’s research on detecting airborne toxins to a local company that plans to take the technology to market. Nano Engineered Applications Inc. plans to develop the research of chemical and environmental engineer Nosang Myung (pictured right) into handheld detection devices that can spot harmful substances in the air in real time.

Myung, who chairs Riverside’s chemical and environmental engineering department, studies nanotechnology in micro-electromechanical systems, particularly when those systems involve advanced materials and biological interfaces. His work with carbon nanotubes, 100,000 times finer than human hair, has led to the development of sensors based on these nanotubes that can detect airborne substances, such as gases.

Nano Engineered Applications Inc., also in Riverside, has licensed Myung’s research from the university. The company plans to develop from this technology low-power sensors that can be integrated into portable devices, such as cell phones, and detect gases in the air, in real-time.

Nano Engineered Applications expects the devices can prove useful in agriculture for detecting pesticides in the air, as well as industry for monitoring evaporation and leaks of volatile or combustible gases. The company also believes the sensors can be adapted for national security applications, such as bio-terrorism warning systems and detecting chemical warfare agents on the battlefield.

Nano Engineered Applications was created and funded by Innovation Economy Corporation, a company that commercializes university research. Innovation Economy Corp. collaborates with Riverside’s engineering department, and provides funding for research in Myung’s lab. “This collaborative relationship,” says Myung, “is key to ensuring research conducted in our laboratories can be commercialized.”

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