Dr. Soumyajit Mandal – Materials Authentication Using Nuclear Quadruple Resonance Spectroscopy


2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Add to Outlook/iCal
Add to Google Calendar


Larsen Hall Room 234
Larsen Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611



Counterfeit and substandard pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and food items containing extremely harmful contaminants have emerged as a major worldwide health problem. High-value items such as packaged medicines, which are often sold online through untrusted supply chains, are particularly prone to fraud. The trade in such illicit medicines is worth tens of billions of dollars annually, and these products now account for about 20% of all illegal goods seized at national borders. This talk describes novel low-cost materials authentication techniques that enable end users (including the general public) to easily and reliably verify the chemical composition of medicines and dietary supplements. The widespread adoption of the proposed authentication technology is expected to eventually have a major positive impact on public health both domestically and internationally by significantly enhancing the security of the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and food products.

The proposed authentication approach is based on comparing the Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR) spectra generated by the material under test with reference spectra stored in a secure database. About 50% of all the atoms in the periodic table contain so-called quadrupolar nuclei that generate NQR signals. We have focused on the spectra of nitrogen (14N), which is found in a large majority of pharmaceutical products. NQR spectra are highly sensitive to chemical composition and physical properties and thus act as unique “chemical fingerprints” that are difficult to emulate or falsify. Moreover, the technique is non-invasive, non-destructive, quantitative, and can be implemented using miniaturized low-cost instrumentation. The talk will describe a variety of measurement and data analysis techniques to improve the sensitivity and specificity of NQR-based chemical fingerprinting. The final goal is to incorporate these methods within an easy-to-use portable materials authentication device. Systematic surveys and field trials will be conducted using this device in order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach in detecting fraud substances; to quantify potential health benefits; and also to expand the size and quality of the reference database.

Biography of Speaker

Soumyajit Mandal received his B. Tech degree in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India in 2002 with top honors. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2004 and 2009. His doctoral thesis on “Collective Analog Bioelectronic Computation,” was awarded the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) Doctoral Dissertation Award in recognition of outstanding research of interest to a broad audience. From 2010-2014 he was a Research Scientist at the Schlumberger-Doll Research center in Cambridge, MA. He is currently the T. and A. Schroeder Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH. His research interests include integrated circuits and systems, magnetic resonance (MR) sensors, and biomedical imaging. He has worked on bio-inspired (neuromorphic and cytomorphic) integrated circuits, biomedical circuits and systems, integrated structural health monitoring systems, MEMS/NEMS interface circuits, RF energy harvesting, low-power RF systems, low-field and zero-field magnetic resonance, and other topics. He was awarded the Mentor and T. Keith Glennan Fellowships by the CWRU University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE), and Nord and ACES grants by CWRU for innovations in teaching and course development. He has published over 85 papers in international journals and conferences and has been awarded 10 patents.


Hosted by

The University of Florida