Dermot Diamond, Principal Investigator, Dublin City University
Autonomous Chemo/Bio-Detection platforms are the critical building blocks of future sensor networks that will monitor the quality of our environment, personal health, and food, and detect potential security threats. The potential socio-economic impact of these devices is truly enormous, but despite this, progress in the realisation of scaled-up widely deployed chemo/bio-sensor networks has been painfully slow. In this presentation, I will identify the key issues that are inhibiting the integration of chemo/bio-detectors and sensors into the communications infrastructure that underpins the emergence of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In particular, the importance of microfluidics for enabling in-situ advanced sample handling in autonomous analytical instruments will be emphasised as the key to realising fit-for–purpose instruments that are a fraction of the current cost of such devices. Examples of the impact of imaginative engineering and design on driving down platform costs will be presented, together with the need for revolutionary fluidic concepts based on advances in stimuli-responsive materials to deliver the massive scale up which is fundamental to the roll-out of future Chemo/Bio-WSNs.