The CANIS sensor is a multifunction, broad based sensor capable of quantifying and discriminating a wide variety of small molecules in either the gas or liquid phase. This includes organic species, inorganic species, and ionic species. The opportunities for a light weight sensors of this sort span a multitude of applications. Specifically, NanoLab envisions the CANIS sensor for use in space stations, in monitoring not only the atmosphere, but the health of astronauts through urinalysis, saliva analysis, blood tests, and breath analysis to monitor important biometrics, such as blood and urine ionic strength, calcium content, pH, etc., as well as nutritional markers including glucose, and bilirubin. Beyond biological assessments, the CANIS sensor has the ability to monitor atmospheric composition of inorganic and organic compounds in complex mixtures without the need for independent development of specific sensitizing agents. As such, NanoLab envisions the use of CANIS sensors in exploratory missions, such as Mars rovers, as well as in greenhouse monitoring, such as in the proposed effort. The real analytical power of the CANIS system comes from the multiple degrees of freedom in the measurement without the need for sensitizers for many applications. This allows the sensor to fingerprint chemical species without needing prior knowledge of their existence.
This Phase I effort will expand our activities in sensors, which have been gaining significant momentum in the past years. The results of this Phase I work should provide a sensing platform appropriate for ethylene detection in on-world and off-world environments. In the envisioned Phase II effort, we will work to further optimize the limit of detection, and broaden the characterization of cross sensitive species. The developed sensor will find application in commercial growth, storage, and shipping of foods and minimize food spoilage. This sensor is just one application envisioned for the broadly functional CANIS style sensor, and will act as a launching point for development into medical, automotive, industrial, and laboratory sensors for both liquids and gasses. We see follow-on applications including: 1) Simple point of care medical devices capable of simultaneous monitoring of multiple biomarkers, such as for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 2) Laboratory gas and liquid analyzer for detection of known and unknown species in complex mixtures. 3) A robust industrial gas analyzer for determining trace and component gasses in process and waste gasses.