According to a research at the University of Waterloo, the nanoscale devices that utilize electromagnetism would be enough sensitive to identify the mass of viruses, which are a hundred billion times thinner than a human hair strand. This new measuring method for miniscule objects is expected to lead to cheaper and more precise sensors for the usage in various areas, such as gas detection and medical research.
Hassan Askari, a PhD candidate and researcher at Waterloo, stated that “now medical researchers would have a more precise tool for the detection of bacteria and viruses, which will result into an enhanced clinical diagnosis.” The research also demonstrates that this new method of measurement, i.e. a sensor that consists of a magnetic particle joined with a small resonator plate and a minute coil, has a high potential to produce electricity that can reduce the interference greatly and improve the precision.
When the plate vibrate rapidly, the distance between the stationary coil and the magnetic particle vary and electric voltage creates. By calculating the difference in the voltage after any object, such as a gas molecule or a bacteria, is added to the plate, the sensor become capable of determining that object’s mass. Additionally, the voltage can be utilized to power the sensor itself, allowing the wireless transmission of the results, generated from clean labs, to remote computers, reducing the interference that affects accuracy to a great extent.