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Cassandra Fraser and Richard Price receive nanoSTAR funding for oxygen sensor

When University of Virginia chemistry professor Cassandra Fraser and her research team crossed a light-emitting dye with a corn-based polymer, they discovered a material with some very unusual properties.

The biomaterial developed in Fraser’s lab not only has bright fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light, but afterwards it also has vivid phosphorescence – a green afterglow – when in an oxygen-free or very low-oxygen environment.

The material exhibits this oxygen-sensitive phosphorescence at room temperature and even at body temperature. It is biodegradable and it senses even extremely low levels of oxygen, which makes it particularly useful.

“Many materials can sense oxygen, but they aren’t as well-suited to sense oxygen at very low levels,” explains Fraser.

Convinced that this material could have important biomedical applications, Fraser partnered with Richard Price, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at U.Va., to conduct some exploratory research. Encouraging preliminary results helped Fraser and Price obtain $30,000 in seed funding from U.Va.’s nanoSTAR Institute for further investigation.

Read More at UVAToday

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