A Wearable Toxic Chemical Sensor Badge

Period of Performance: 05/01/2017 - 10/31/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Design West Technolgies, Inc
2701 Dow Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Due to the high probability of exploiting common toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) as a weapon there is an increasing demand for rapid chemical detection technologies. A sensor that alerts the user of the presence of TICs independent of human interpretation is highly desirable. Furthermore, the sensor should be configurable as either a wearable badge or button so that it can be integrated as part of a first responders uniform. To address the difficulty associated with miniaturizing conventional detection technologies, Design West Technologies, Inc. (DWT) proposes a chemiresistor sensor array for the development of a wearable sensor badge that detects multiple TICs. This approach leverages the unique and rapid electrical response of carbon nanotubes. Notable advantages include high sensitivity and selectivity, low power consumption, and ease of miniaturization. During Phase I, DWT will optimize the sensor formulations and detection algorithm to detect a representative TIC in various environmental conditions. Feasibility of detecting the representative TIC in the presence of an interfering gas, secondhand smoke, will also be demonstrated. A 3D model of the proposed wearable sensor badge will be developed, and any miniaturization-related performance tradeoffs will be addressed and mitigated. A miniaturized chemiresistor sensor array would lead to a low cost, compact and lightweight wearable sensor badge. This wearable sensor technology is well aligned with the critical missions of DHS, and would find applications in one or more operational components of the DHS.