Advanced Optical Sensing

IOS has developed optical sensor devices, or optodes, that enable analyte measurement in small spaces, providing an unprecedented level of flexibility in sensor placement.

Fluorescent-based sensors can be integrated into an optical fiber the width of a hair or in flexible patches that can be directly adhered to surfaces. Multiple distributed sensors can be measured by a central readout instrument minimizing the added bulk required for additional sensors. Inherent immunity to electromagnetic interference and vibration reduces the amount of additional EMI shielding and vibration isolation required.

The small size of the optodes simplifies integration and allows for high spatial resolution measurements.


About IOS Optode Technology

Optodes are composed of a polymer doped with a luminescent indicator sensitive to the desired analyte. In general, if a fluorescent indicator exists for an analyte, an optode can be developed.

Our broad catalog of optode sensors includes:

  • pH
  • Oxygen
  • Water activity/relative humidity
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon dioxide

Our optode technology uses a phase-resolved measurement device making our optode sensing systems unaffected by fluctuations in optical intensity or vibration.

If desired, the optode can be placed on a hair-thin optical fiber or behind a transparent physical barrier. Optodes can be used when electrical connection is impossible or undesirable.

Mask Sensor System (MASES)

IOS has incorporated optodes for breath gasses including oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity into a miniature sensor probe that has been incorporated into pilot oxygen masks and flown on Navy jets. This technology enables real-time measurement of the gasses being delivered to and exhaled by a pilot.

MASES provides information on OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generation System) function, pilot performance, and critical pilot physiological information during high G maneuvers.

Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing in Biotechnology

IOS is currently developing dissolved gas and other biomarker sensors for integration into several key biotechnologies. IOS is developing highly sensitive and selective optical sensors for pO2, pCO2, pH, K+, Na+ lactate, hydration, ethanol, and others. The sensors are used in blood, tissue, and subcutaneously. Exemplary applications of IOS’s smart sensor-enhanced biotechnologies include:

  • Groundbreaking technology for Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) in the treatment of hemorrhagic shock. Press Release
  • Critical continuous blood analysis in umbilical catheters. Grant, Patent
  • A sensor integrated biopsy device for in-situ and real-time tissue analysis. Press Release, Patent
  • A subcutaneous optical microneedle sensor for hydration or ethanol monitoring. Grant

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