A Mobile Optical Spectrometer for Everyone

Our technology transforms your cell phone into a personal analytical tool for early detection of cancers, color analysis, chemical sensor, and more...
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Perry Edwards
Technology
University Park, Pennsylvania
United States
2 Team Members

Issues to be addressed

Our project is trying to develop technology for improving quality of life, e.g., providing point-of-care screening and exams for early detection of cancer, assisting people suffering from color blindness, helping color matching in our daily lives. 

Project description

We try to develop a miniature, low cost, and high-performance optical spectrometer and integrate it with a cell phone. Our goal is to make optical spectrometer affordable and accessible to everyone and transform a cell phone into a personal analytical tool while simultaneously taking advantage of its wireless communication capabilities for data sharing, access, and management.

Combining mobile optical spectroscopy with wireless technology can lead to many new applications such as personal health care, color analysis, chemical and bio-sensing. The integration of a spectrometer with a cell phone also provides a platform, which can enable even more applications or new APPs by fully taking advantage of the creativity of the community. The ability of data sharing will enable developers to access large amount of data to assess the results and further improve their specific applications.

We will design and develop a new type of high-performance miniature spectrometer to be integrated with a cell phone. Once a prototype is developed we will distribute it to potential users to obtain feedback and based on it to further improve the device. We will also collaborate with experts to develop the clinical applications, including early cancer detection (such as breast cancer and skin cancer) and monitoring of the healing process of surgical wound or injury.

Uniqueness

Our approach is based on a unique device, called G-Fresnel, which combines the optical components of a traditional spectrometer into a single device and creates a simpler spectrometer system. This simpler design enables a new level of miniaturization and performance which is difficult to achieve with traditional spectrometer technology.  The device can also be fabricated by replicating from a master pattern, leading to a low cost. Finally, the G-Fresnel has a small f/#, resulting in high spectral resolution. These unique properties of G-Fresnel make it possible to develop a high-performance, miniature, and low cost spectrometer to be integrated with a cell phone.  

What is an optial spectrometer?

Optical spectrometers provide the unique capability to decipher the “colors” of light, and can detect the way light interacts with materials to identify hidden chemical substances far more precisely than what our eyes can do. 

Where are they used? How come I've never heard of such a device?

Optical spectrometers have benefitted many areas of science and industry, and are demonstrated for many applications in healthcare, color analysis, and environmental monitoring.

However, the requirement of highly accurate performance has kept costs high, and spectrometers out of the reach of the general public. 

We seek to change this.

Our mission

We want to make optical spectroscopy affordable and accessible to everyone and transform a smart phone into a personal analytical tool while simultaneously taking advantage of its computing ability and wireless communication capability. 

Our team of research engineers at Penn State University have developed a new device (pictured) that has the capability to shrink the functionality of a traditional spectrometer significantly while maintaining high performance required for performing meaningful measurements. How small? Possibly, to dimensions on the order of a sugar cube or even smaller.

Our technology will put the power of spectroscopy into the palm of your hand, and bring with it the capability to determine chemical composition of substances at home or on the go.

How you can help

With your help, we will develop the next generation prototype mobile spectrometer that will be integrated with a cell phone. The funds will go directly towards development of the prototype, including creating a new mold to further miniaturize our design.

If you would like to help but can’t contribute monetarily, you can help by spreading the word – tell your friends, colleagues, neighbors about our project!

Learn more

Please visit our project webpage for more details about our technology and where it is headed!

http://ultrafastoptics.ee.psu.edu/mobile_spectrometer

$7,585USD
raised by 40 people in 28 days
152% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 14, 2013
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Matched Funds By
Matched: $1,000USD
Funds Have Been Matched!

Vodafone matched $1,000 USD of contributions made to this campaign. Matched funds are reflected in the total amount raised.

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    Miraculous! We will list your name as a badge of honor on our website AND email you a certificate letting others know of your dedication to promoting this progressive technology AND you will receive a Penn State magnet and Penn State polo shirt. You will have exclusive access to videos explaining the technology. We will acknowledge your support in our publications and conference presentations.

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