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Biological Applications of FBAR sensors

Biological matter in our environments, materials and food generally exists without incident. The regular monitoring and tight control over processes involved in our day-to-day lives means that people will be unaffected by the majority of biological substances they come into contact with. However, some bacteria and viruses are dangerous in quantities at much lower levels than presently tested for, can grow rapidly or situate themselves in undetectable places.  

Recently, an outbreak of listeria in hospital food caused the death of 3 people. Listeria is a bacterium which causes food poisoning like illness called Listeriosis, to the average person the effects of this illness wear off in a few days but to those critically ill or suffering from a lower immune response the effects can cause fatal. These cases are rare with 33 fatal Listeria related illness in 2017 in the UK. 

The FBAR sensor system produced by Worcester Scientific has an important biological sensing capability directly applicable to the cases outlined above. By utilising the latest coating techniques Worcester Scientific can manufacture FBAR sensor technology to detect biological substances at a costeffective price.  

Enhancing the capability of systems already in place is vital to the uptake of the FBAR sensor technology. The sensors are deemed a nanotechnology and as a result can be placed in areas in-accessible to the larger sensors already in-place. The FBAR size is also important to sensitivity as being comprised of multiple thin film layers allows the sensors to be ultra-sensitive, detecting high-risk target substances at ultralow levels. By embedding these sensors at multiple points throughout the process more data will become available, giving a clear trial of results and flagging any potential contaminants at the earliest stage.  

Looking past facility and product safety, the FBAR sensors can be used in bio-medical applications through the coating of anti-bodies or DNA. Through the use of specialised and specific coatings accurate cancer marker and key health indicator detection/monitoring is also a possibility.  

This sensor system gives the opportunity for health care organisations to detect disease and other medical conditions at a very early stage.  

For more information on our FBAR sensors please contact:  

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