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UC Davis spinout takes license for advanced system to detect chemicals in the environment


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: January 10th, 2018

The University of California (UC) at Davis has licensed a technology that identifies a wide range of chemicals from environmental samples.

Licensed to UC Davis spinout SensIT Ventures, the technology is a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) capable of detecting chemicals at a fraction of the size, weight and power requirements of current detection technologies. The data can be linked to wireless transmission with associated cloud-based management and analytics. The MEMS technology might also be integrated with smartphones.

“We see valuable opportunities to apply this technology to problems in defense and security, food and agriculture, process engineering and health care,” says Tom Turpen, president and CEO of SensIT.

Examples of specific applications for the technology include detecting explosives, plant diseases and environmental triggers for asthma.

Christina Davis, a researcher at the Bioinstrumentation and BioMEMS Laboratory at UC Davis, initially developed the technology. She now serves as chief scientist and co-founder at SensIT. “It is very satisfying for me to see this technology advance to broad commercial use, especially through a local start-up here in Davis where I can continue to contribute to the success of the company,” says Davis.

According to Turpen, SensIT has already gained significant traction with its chemical detector. The company “currently has multiple contracts, bids and grant proposals pending to serve different initial customers in multiple markets,” says Turpen. “We expect to close our first contracts in 2018.”

Source: EurekAlert!

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