The French company Olythe is launching a new sensor for analyzing CO2 in expired air, using infrared spectroscopy. This miniaturized and patented technology offers many applications, such as the detection of respiratory disorders or the monitoring of the fertility period.
The rate of CO2 is an indicator of good health. By analyzing this gas in an individual’s exhaled air, the CO sensor2 of the French company Olythe is able to offer indications on its health by diagnosing the pathologies. If the level is too low, it may be a sign of kidney failure or diabetes. It can also track the menstrual cycle in order to know its period of fertilization, the hormones produced modifying the level of CO2 expired. It can even allow the follow-up of diet…
These analyzes are made possible thanks to infrared spectroscopy that the company has miniaturized in a 7 cm sensor. “Infrared spectroscopy is one of the most widely used technologies for measuring volatile organic compounds and we have succeeded in miniaturizing it, says Guillaume Nesa, founder of Olythe. For this technology, which costs several thousand euros, we have reduced it to a few hundred euros. »
A white label sensor
The sensor consists of a measuring chamber, an infrared ray emitter and a receiver to analyze the concentration of the target compound. “The more the optical signal is attenuated, the greater the concentration of the compound” details Guillaume Nesa. Its first sensor, the connected breathalyzer, is based on this same technology. The miniaturization of infrared spectroscopy is the result of 6 years of research and development. “We worked on two technological levers in particular, namely the optimization of the optical part of the system and its electrical consumption”specifies Guillaume Nesa.
Besides being indeed small, “our sensor consumes little energy” says the founder. Two essential points for its integration into portable devices in order to carry out, for example, preventive medicine or to offer new functionalities to connected objects. “We designed the sensor in such a way that it can be economical and affordable,” he adds. We opted for custom designed components. » The integration of the sensor will be carried out either by the manufacturer or by Olythe, which will participate in the development of the product. In other words, it is a white label sensor.
Alcohol, CO2… and after ?
Between BAC and CO sensor2, it’s a question of wavelength adaptation and algorithms. But Olythe does not intend to stop at specific sensors or single gas. “There are so many things to measure and in different ways that we launch different sensors, adds Guillaume Nesa. We could also have a sensor measuring several different gases at the same time. For example, if the fact of measuring interfering compounds of the targeted compound during the measurement is taken into account, it is possible to be more sensitive and precise in the analysis of this compound. »