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MTRAC Research Award Bridges Gap: Winning Research Projects Placed on Marketing Track

Tuesday, August 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
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HOUGHTON — The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program to help researchers to bridge the gap between academic research and placing a product on the market has awarded funding to two researchers.

Guangzhao Mao of Wayne State University and Travis Thompson of the University of Michigan presented their research to MTRAC Board members at Michigan Technological University on July 13.

Mao and her team are developing an ammonia sensor out of organic nanowire, which should be able to detect minute amounts of the dangerous but common industrial gas.

“When you work on the nano-scale, surface area becomes very important, and it makes the sensors very sensitive,” Mao said.

Mao has been working with the science behind her sensor for more than 10 years, though her research only took on a highly practical aspect two and a half years ago after receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnership for Innovation. Her lab developed a wearable sensor last year and drew the attention of potential military research grants, though Mao says the MTRAC program “opened the door” to civilian applications.


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