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Electrophoretic Soil Nutrient Sensor for Agriculture
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
11/21/2016
ISURF #
4454
Summary:
ISU researchers have developed an in situ, electrophoresis based microfluidics ion nutrient sensor for the detection of anions in a soil solution extracted from the soil.  The sensors offers a new capability to analyze concentrations of various anions as well as cations, in automated extracted soil solutions with both high specificity and sensitivity. It includes the microfluidics for the automated extraction of soil solution.

Development Stage:
 
Description:
Demands for on-site, in situ, real-time sensing exists for site-specific nutrient management in agriculture, where 30-40% of applied nutrients are wasted due to a lack of knowledge of site-specific plant needs, and those nutrients act as pollutants to waterways and the atmosphere.  This sensing system developed at ISU integrates a microfluidics device for sample intake and filtration, excitation source for generation of an electric potential, electrophoresis microchip for ion separation and readout mechanism to wirelessly transmit data.

Advantage:
• In situ electrophoresis based label-free inorganic ion sensor for detecting soil nutrient components
• Automatic sample collection and preparation
• Rapid measurement and read out to users and operators via wireless interface
• Can be utilized to inform a subsequent action, such as controlling a variable rate applicator
• Technology can be adopted for other applications as environmental/health/food monitoring
Application:
Precision agriculture or environmental monitoring where nutrient sensing is require

References:
Z. Xu, X. Wang, R. J. Weber, R. Kumar, and L. Dong, “Microfluidic Electrophoretic Ion Nutrient Sensor”, 2016 IEEE Sensors Conference, Orlando, FL, Oct. 2016.

Patent Information:
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Patent:
Patent(s) applied for

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