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This project enabled me to set the foundations of a new research line to study unconventional applications of electrochromic materials, beyond displays and smart glasses. The project built on my background in Electrochemistry, Enzymatic biosensors, and development of fabrication processes, and focused on the development screen-printed electrochromic quantitative biosensors that can operate in the absence of silicon-based electronics.

The project has permitted the study of how internal resistance, also known as ohmic drop, affects the performance of electrochemical devices in general, with a particular focus on electrochromic and energy generation devices. This study has led to important breakthroughs in the design of new analytical devices, including the one proposed in our seminal publication in Chemical Science. A summary of our main findings has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, where we show how to turn internal resistance into a critical design parameter for new analytical systems.

Although the project has come to an end, many of the ideas produced during its execution are being developed further.

This project has been funded by one of the grants for Researchers and Cultural Creators awarded in 2016.

Contact me to find out more about the project.
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DADDi2: A disposable autonomous device for the Diagnosis of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease with high a health impact and that affects an increasing number of citizens. This is further stressed by the fact that this year the World Health Organisation, WHO, has included diabetes mellitus among the top 10 causes of death. It is worth noting that the most common diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus, which accounts for over 90% of all cases. In Spain, according to the latest national study, this disease has a prevalence up to 13.8%, despite the fact that only about half the people who suffer from it have been diagnosed.

DADDi2 is a coordinated project, led by the National Microelectronics Centre, IMB-CNM (CSIC), and in collaboration with the University of Barcelona (UB), and endocrinologists from the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital (HGTP) located in Badalona.

The project goal is to develop a disposable device for the early diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Such a device will be energetically autonomous and entirely disposable, and it will be able to determine the blood concentration of glucose, total cholesterol, and triglyceryds. The device will be compact, it will be highly integrated, and will be fabricated using low-cost materials and technologies as far as possible with a view to its eventual industrialization.

DADDi2 aims at developing a demonstrator able to determine the blood concentration of glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerydes. The device will be able to perform such multianalyte measurements autonomously (from the energy viewpoint), and with a minimum user intervention. In addition to the clinical value of this new tool, the concept of energy autonomy and systems integration developed in this project will spark a new generation of rapid and portable detection devices of use other areas such as sports, environment, or drug abuse detection.

DADDi2 is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy (MINECO) under reference TEC2013-48506-C3-1-R.
Project duration: 01-01-2014 to 31-12-2016.

Contact me to find out more about the project.
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NANOMET: Wireless networks of heavy metals nanosensors for real time water pollution assessment.

Private contract.
The European Union has developed an extensive legislation addressing environmental protection from water pollution by heavy metals, highlighting the following directives: Water Framework Directive- WFD (Directive 2000/60/EC), Directive 2006/11/EC on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community and Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy.

The project aims to develop optical and/or electrochemical nanosensors for Copper, Chromium, Zinc, Mercury and Cadmium integrated in wireless Embedded Sensing Platforms (ESPs) in order to deploy smart sensor systems for the monitoring and assessment of heavy metals in water resources as well as in Urban and Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP).
The project’s main objectives are:

  • Development of a Smart sensor system for Water Assessment based in Wireless Networks in order to obtain a systematic and analytic monitoring and prediction of the sites at risk of contamination by Copper, Chromium, Zinc, Mercury and Cadmium, with unique features of unattended operation and reusability.
    • Development and manufacture of a new generation of scalable wireless ESPs for distributed monitoring and assessment of water contaminants. To achieve this goal, Copper, Chromium, Zinc, Mercury and Cadmium optical and/or electrochemical nanosensors with low-power consumption and rapid response will be developed, cuting the cost of collecting data, especially in remote areas, and allowing a systematic risk assessment and control.

The system will work on the Internet and will be a multi-platform, multi-channel open architecture system that will be ready to be integrated in both distributed and integrated data management systems. It will enable real time monitoring of heavy metals and information transmission in a secure, fast and reliable way allowing a rapid identification of pollution sources and providing better coverage of the changes in heavy metals concentration in water resources, giving a more accurate idea of long-term trends of heavy metals’ levels. In addition, it will help industries and WWTPs to ensure their discharges meet current water standards. Thus the system will benefit not only public institutions but also private companies. Furthermore, with the continued tightening of legislation in the field of water policy, online monitoring of heavy metals is likely to be compulsory for the European countries within a short period of time. Therefore, there will be significant growth in the demand for online heavy metals sensors, which could be covered by NANOMET wireless sensor network.

NANOMET is funded by the European Union through the MNT-ERA.Net programme.
Project duration: 02-04-2012 to 31-12-2014.
Project coordinator: Inkoa S.L.
Project Partner: BeanAir (France).

Contact me to find out more about the project.
F. Javier del Campo.
Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona, IMB-CNM (CSIC).
Campus de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
08193-Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain).
© 2018.
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