Sensor detects bad milk, blood coagulation and road stress

Jul 17, 2008

Craig Grimes, a professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State, has created a very practical gadget.

Bad milk, juice or soup can be spotted at the grocery store by a thin iron strip that vibrates in a magnetic field. When a customer checks out at the grocery store, the scanner can detect when this strip vibrates differently, indicating a change in the consistency of liquid. But grocery stores aren't the only business to benefit from the inexpensive device.

According to Grimes, similar sensors that detect blood-clotting characteristics will be on the market soon. These sensors can identify blood coagulation by tracking its density. Grimes said that in 2009, COBE Cardiovascular, an international company making advances in the cardiopulmonary market, will distribute these to hospitals worldwide.

But the same sensor technology used in food and in blood clot kinetics can also do more. It can be embedded in new roadways, buildings and bridges to detect when these structures are under stress.

On the road, the sensors will let crews know if salt is needed or if the salt has percolated down into the concrete, which can cause cracks in the roadway. With early detection, a treatment can be provided before too much damage occurs.

"Basically, the idea is to embed the sensor when the road is being made, then it more or less can sit there forever," Grimes said.

The same holds true for new buildings and bridges. Grimes said the sensors placed in these structures would have a specific signature. Once a year these sensors could be checked with a scanner to see if the building or bridge is stressed.

Grimes indicated that minimal tweaking is needed to change the use of the sensors. To learn more about Grimes’ discovery, visit Penn State Live at live2.psu.edu/video/490

Source: Penn State

Explore further: Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

7 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a wearable life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists ...

Recommended for you

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

Dec 20, 2014

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

Dec 19, 2014

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

Dec 19, 2014

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

Dec 19, 2014

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.