Color changing photonic crystals detect blast exposure.

TitleColor changing photonic crystals detect blast exposure.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
Volume54 Suppl 1
Date Published2011 Jan
AbstractBlast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) is the "signature wound" of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, with no objective information of relative blast exposure, warfighters with bTBI may not receive appropriate medical care and are at risk of being returned to the battlefield. Accordingly, we have created a colorimetric blast injury dosimeter (BID) that exploits material failure of photonic crystals to detect blast exposure. Appearing like a colored sticker, the BID is fabricated in photosensitive polymers via multi-beam interference lithography. Although very stable in the presence of heat, cold or physical impact, sculpted micro- and nano-structures of the BID are physically altered in a precise manner by blast exposure, resulting in color changes that correspond with blast intensity. This approach offers a lightweight, power-free sensor that can be readily interpreted by the naked eye. Importantly, with future refinement this technology may be deployed to identify soldiers exposed to blast at levels suggested to be supra-threshold for non-impact blast-induced mild TBI.
PubMed Link
Short TitleNeuroimage