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Masoud Agah's team is working on micro gas chromatography applications. In 2008 Agah received an NSF CAREER Award for a micro GC (Gas Chromatography) Matrix System. Read about it in “Shrinking Lab Equipment onto a Chip.”

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Agah’s team is also applying MEMS technology to detect the presence of even a single cancer cell. Read about it in “Catching cancer cells – on a chip.”

MEMS Laboratory

The MEMS Laboratory is involved in projects including 3D independent microchannel fabrication, preconcentrator, BioMEMS, gas chromatography, and on-chip microprocessor cooling.

Concentrating gases at the micro scale

Chromatography, the separation of a mixture into its components, is getting small and portable. Masoud Agah’s team at the MEMS Laboratory is working with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nano-technologies to implement a vapor preconcentrator. The preconcentrator would become part of a system for micro gas chromatography that has applications in environmental monitoring and homeland security.

In collaboration with Convergent Engineering, Inc., the group is working to develop preconcentrator chips that will enable the production of portable, low-power systems to detect gases using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Convergent Engineering intends to use the technology to build a monitoring system to analyze breath to determine the amount of propofol, a common anesthetic, in a person’s blood.