Presentation Title

Using Tuning Forks to Analyze Biological Samples

Faculty Mentor

William H. Grover

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:00 AM

Location

Markstein 105

Session

oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

engineering_computer_science

Abstract

Tools for measuring the density of a sample can provide valuable information about the chemical composition or biological state of the sample. For example, the density of urine is routinely measured to diagnose dehydration and kidney disorders, and the density of a medicine can be measured to determine if the medicine has been diluted or otherwise adulterated. However, existing tools for density measurement are costly or require significant skill to build or use. In this work, we adapted a type of musical instrument for use as a low-cost density sensor suitable for use in resource-limited settings. Our sensor is a type of tuning fork, which generates a sound when plucked. The pitch or frequency of the sound produced depends on the fundamental physical properties of the tuning fork. We used computer assisted design and 3D printing to create a hollow tuning fork-like sensor. When the sensor is loaded with a sample and plucked, it makes a sound that is inversely proportional to the density of the sample. By using a smartphone to record the sound of the sensor and custom Python software to analyze the recording, we can determine the density of any sample with a resolution of 0.0045 g/mL. We calibrated our tuning fork sensors using various salt solutions ranging from 1.00 - 1.08 g/mL. We also demonstrated that our sensor can detect diluted milk (a common type of food fraud in some regions). Our tuning fork sensors can potentially be simple and inexpensive tools for measuring sample density in medical diagnostics, food and drug testing, and many other fields.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:00 AM

Using Tuning Forks to Analyze Biological Samples

Markstein 105

Tools for measuring the density of a sample can provide valuable information about the chemical composition or biological state of the sample. For example, the density of urine is routinely measured to diagnose dehydration and kidney disorders, and the density of a medicine can be measured to determine if the medicine has been diluted or otherwise adulterated. However, existing tools for density measurement are costly or require significant skill to build or use. In this work, we adapted a type of musical instrument for use as a low-cost density sensor suitable for use in resource-limited settings. Our sensor is a type of tuning fork, which generates a sound when plucked. The pitch or frequency of the sound produced depends on the fundamental physical properties of the tuning fork. We used computer assisted design and 3D printing to create a hollow tuning fork-like sensor. When the sensor is loaded with a sample and plucked, it makes a sound that is inversely proportional to the density of the sample. By using a smartphone to record the sound of the sensor and custom Python software to analyze the recording, we can determine the density of any sample with a resolution of 0.0045 g/mL. We calibrated our tuning fork sensors using various salt solutions ranging from 1.00 - 1.08 g/mL. We also demonstrated that our sensor can detect diluted milk (a common type of food fraud in some regions). Our tuning fork sensors can potentially be simple and inexpensive tools for measuring sample density in medical diagnostics, food and drug testing, and many other fields.