STTR Phase I: Monolithic Multiwavelength Blue-to-IR LED for Biomedical Diagnostics

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Valencell, Inc.
2800-154 sumner blvd
Raleigh, NC 27616
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7514
Raleigh, NC 27695
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of a novel multi-wavelength light-emitting diode (LED) for transdermal health monitoring of various blood metabolites simultaneously in real time. With independent control of up to 12 spectrally narrow wavelengths, ranging from deep-UV to mid-IR, from a single 1 mm2 LED die, the company's compact multi-wavelength LED will revolutionize traditional pulse oximetry with unprecedented functionality at a significantly lower cost. In contrast with traditional dual-wavelength pulse oximetry, which primarily measures the ratio of oxygenated to deoxygenated blood, the proposed multi-wavelength LED will enable the real-time analysis several additional metabolites critical to health monitoring via the same noninvasive paradigm. Furthermore, combining 12 LEDs into one self-aligned device precludes the need for expensive packaging and complex optical alignment.The medical impact of dual-wavelength pulse oximetry, in both saving lives and reducing healthcare costs, has encouraged the development of broader platforms using additional optical wavelengths. Incorporating 3 or more independently controlled wavelengths has been shown to enable the real-time monitoring of multiple health factors while further reducing readout errors - thus saving more lives. Beyond blood oxygen monitoring, a real-time noninvasive assessment of renal and hepatic health can be realized by integrating several wavelengths in the same clinically accepted pulse oximetry paradigm. The proposed multi-wavelength single-die approach surmounts these limitations by providing independent control of several wavelengths from a single, self-aligned, compact LED. Integrating these advanced, cost-effective optical sources into traditional pulse oximetry opens up new markets in noninvasive metabolic monitoring for paramedics, physical therapists, drug discovery, and home healthcare. As a spectroscopic source, other applications include air-quality/pollution monitoring and agricultural/industrial controls.