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Explorations in Science and Technology

Pitt Sensors Warn of Impending Danger


Whether they’re measuring light, radio waves, or chemicals, scientists have developed sensing devices that warn of impending danger.

Chemistry professor Alexander Star develops sensor technology that can be used to detect an oncoming asthma attack.

Read a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about Star’s research.

Professor Sandy Asher is developing a contact lens that would change colors as glucose levels in tear fluid rise and fall, relieving diabetes patients of the need to take blood samples up to eight times a day.

Watch a video about Asher’s research.

A commercial device that tests pharmaceuticals for the toxic chemical palladium has been developed from chemistry professor Kazunori Koide’s research.

Read a 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about Koide’s work.

Engineering professor Joel Falk develops devices that use radiation to detect harmful pollutants, making energy produced from natural gas cleaner.

View Falk’s faculty profile.

Marlin Mickle, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor in Pitt's Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, has been a leader in radio-frequency identification (RFID), used in fields as diverse as orthopedics and structural engineering. In orthopaedics, RFID tags can be attached to implants, allowing doctors to monitor the health of the device as well as chart its use in a patient's body.

Listen to Mickle discuss his work on the Hear and Know podcast (click on “Podcast” next to image).