The finances project POR FESR LAZIO 2007/2013 – REGIONE LAZIO realized by 3V Chimica in collaboration with the Institute on Air Pollution of CNR (National Research Center) aims to create an innovative analytical tool that allows the study and characterization of chemical and physical interactions between a gaseous / liquid / solid compound and materials of different nature (eg plastics, metal or biological). This peculiarity makes it usable directly in the field of sensors and bio-sensors. The heart of the device is a micrometric acoustic wave transducer (electronic microbalance) with a thermal implementation system, capable of detecting mass variations of the order of nanograms due to processes of interaction between the material deposited on its surface (material under measurement) and what surrounds it (solid, liquid, gaseous). Thanks to the excellent performance of the sensor, the control electronics and a dedicated software, it will be able to measure and visualize, in real time, the chemical-physical variations of the material under measurement, due to both mass and viscosity variation, in particular the latter expression of the forces of interaction between the material and the liquid that surrounds it. The small size of the sensor (~ 1 cm ^ 3), the high sensitivity, the low power consumption (a few watts) and the low cost make the device innovative and can be used successfully in different areas such as:
- chemical agents, for the study of chemically interactive materials used for the detection of toxic or polluting gases;
- biotechnology, for the study of materials used in the development of biosensors (eg enzymes, cells, antibodies, proteins, DNA);
- thermo-gravimetry, to study the presence of solvents, water or other volatile compounds in solid materials (for ex. earth, wood, plastics, …).
The instruments also includes a specific software to manage all the measurement phases in the various application areas. The device is designed in a modular way: it will be enough to replace the sensor housing chamber to adapt it to each of the different applications (gas, liquid or solid), keeping the control module and the software unchanged.