MARC is a newly developed optical sensor that greatly improves the dynamic measuring range compared to existing technology, without compromising anything on accuracy. This is achieved by utilizing a unique combination of two different sensing technologies: ring resonators and a Mach-Zehnder interferometers. This combination means that we can give each sensor a unique fingerprint, which enables the sensor to both measure the concentration of many different compounds at the same time and to have multiple focal ranges. Additionally, the fact that the sensor can be set up using cheaper laser and detector technology compared to similar sensors, and can be produced using standard semi-conductor technology, makes the MARC sensor well suited for mass production.
The sensor is fit for a wide range of purposes, like looking for various biological or chemical markers, gas sensing and environmental surveillance. The team at NTNU has already developed a prototype where the concept itself is verified, and the team has also filed for a patent on the technology. It has also been demonstrated in a previous, related project that a sensor based on ring resonators alone gave quick and accurate detection of a biological markers. During this project we will build and calibrate a version of the sensor specifically to demonstrate that it can be used to measure the concentration of a specific protein found in fish. The measured concentration of this protein is then used to assess the exposure the fish has had to pollution and various toxins.
In addition to ensuring that the MARC sensor is applicable for detecting a specific biological marker, an important part of the project will be to gain market insight so as to better be able to decide on which areas are most suitable for the sensor, which entry market to address and which industry partners to approach as potential licensees.