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Sussex and Plessey sign sensor licensing deal

Signing the Plessey agreement

Use of a revolutionary new sensor that can detect a heartbeat up to a metre away has been licensed by the University of Sussex to Plymouth-based Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. 

The licensing agreement allows the specialist engineering company to develop microchip-level sensor arrays utilising the revolutionary EPS Sensors.  Instead of just a single surface-mounted sensor, a multitude of sensors on a silicon chip will allow applications such as medical scanners that are simply held near a patient's chest to obtain a detailed ECG reading; security devices that can "see" through walls and new solutions for human-machine or gaming interfaces. 

The Electric Potential Sensors (EPS), to be marketed by Plessey as the EPIC sensor, are the first electrical sensors that can detect precisely the electrical activity of the heart without direct resistive contact with the body. 

The new sensors will make monitoring a patient's heartbeat, while they relax in their hospital bed or in their home, easier and less invasive than ever before.  The EPS research group team, based in the University of Sussex's School of Engineering and Design, is led by Dr Robert Prance, Professor of Sensor Technology. 

Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, says: "Our new partnership with Plessey demonstrates the strength of Sussex's science research, providing innovative solutions to real-world business challenges.  It also shows the importance of Sussex's Enterprise Development Fund, which helps our academics to turn their cutting-edge research into cutting-edge products and services." 

Plessey Semiconductors is a specialist engineering firm with a long, distinguished history and a reputation for designing innovative, cutting-edge products for the communications, medical, automotive, instrumentation and aerospace markets. 

Michael LeGoff, Managing Director of Plessey Semiconductors Ltd, says: "The EPIC sensor will be the latest product in our portfolio of sensing products. Our strategy of developing market-defining semiconductor products has taken a great step forward with the technology developed by the University of Sussex. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with the University and Plessey will be supporting the many new developments coming from this superb institution." 

The EPS sensors originated within the University of Sussex's Centre for Physical Electronics and Quantum Technology, which comprises physicists, engineers and computational scientists. 

The group's research interests fall broadly into two categories: the experimental and theoretical study of superconducting devices and the development of ultra-sensitive, room temperature electric and magnetic field sensors. 

To discuss how their knowledge could be applied to your business please contact: Mike Wylde, Business Development Manager m.wylde@sussex.ac.uk 

For more information on EPS sensors please go to: http://www.sinc.co.uk/sinc_companies/sussex_ep_sensors.html 

Notes for Editors 

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune, Jacqui Bealing and Danielle Treanor. Call 01273 678 888 or email press@sussex.ac.uk

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By: Danielle Treanor
Last updated: Wednesday, 22 December 2010