InnovaTek proposes to design, fabricate, and test a particle separation system that uses cyclonic forces to separate and remove large particles from an airstream and concentrate small particles for sensor/detector technology.
Our approach will use micro-fabrication and microfluidic techniques to accomplish the objectives. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling will be used to design a novel two-stage multi-cyclone system operating in parallel to achieve a high flow rate device that will separate particles at the desired size ranges. The capability to miniaturize systems provides a significant advantage in the development of aerosol separation technology by allowing the development of products that have low power requirements, are lightweight and portable. The results from this work will lead to a novel, portable, multi-functional device that is suitable for pathogen separation and collection in field situations. Threats from microorganisms in the air as a result of natural phenomena or human-induced activities such as terrorism cannot be adequately monitored and evaluated with current technology. Early warning, hazard recognition, personal protective equipment, exposure evaluation, and environmental monitoring are needed to prevent and reduce impacts from airborne infectious, toxic, or genetically modified material. Monitoring of air quality is an important public health need.
Commercial success in meeting these needs depends on the development and demonstration of an inexpensive real time device that is small and uncomplicated from an operator's perspective. The proposed integrated device is expected to be in high demand from a wide variety of global scale markets, including defense markets and emerging commercial markets such as public health and food safety.</p>