A $4.8 million collaborative biometrics project enables

Texas A&M University and Arizona State University (ASU) are collaborating on a $4.8 million multidisciplinary project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Office of Biological Technologies to create artificial intelligence (AI) to detect states of fatigue using human respiration.

The project aims to better understand sleep deprivation and mental and physical fatigue in humans by measuring biomarkers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath and how they can affect performance, particularly in high-stakes environments. students.

Understanding respiratory VOCs will allow researchers to create a set of AI algorithms to detect a person’s state of fatigue.

“Fatigue is an important topic for the US Department of Defense and many other sectors of our society. However, it is very difficult to quantify fatigue. I am thrilled to see DARPA’s investment in our rigorous scientific approach and their confidence in our world-class team,” said Dr. Roozbeh Jafari, Tim and Amy Leach Professor at Texas A&M’s College of Engineering and Principal Investigator of the project. .

Dr. Steven Riechman, associate professor of kinesiology at Texas A&M’s School of Education and Human Development, said this knowledge could open new opportunities to monitor and predict fatigue using wearable devices to prevent catastrophic failure. He also said there may be new ways to intervene against fatigue to improve resilience in challenging environments and circumstances.

“Comprehensive examination of the evolution of respiratory VOCs during progression from rest to fatigue will provide valuable insights into metabolic state transitions,” Riechman said.

According to the project proposal, these compounds have already been used to detect other health conditions, such as intestinal inflammation and asthma. They will be key chemical information resources for all body systems.

The project will move from a highly controlled environment to less controlled real world environments.

Texas A&M researchers will collect respiratory VOC samples from participants in different states of fatigue with machines capable of detecting VOCs in breath samples. They will use wearable monitors and sensors to measure heart rate, body temperature and other biometric data.

Dr. Ranjana Mehta, Associate Professor in the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Director of the Neuroergonomics Laboratory at Texas A&M, will lead the creation and execution of fatigue protocols with Riechman by inducing fatigue in an environment highly controlled.

“This project will allow us not only to develop respiratory and physiological biomarkers of fatigue in general and military populations, but also to expand our understanding of the interactions between fatigue from a variety of sources,” Mehta said.

Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Associate Executive Dean of the Texas A&M College of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Heather Bean, ASU Associate Professor in the School of Life Science and the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, will measure the VOCs in breath samples.

Bean says the volume and combination of breath samples at different stages of fatigue protocols will help advance the understanding of respiratory VOCs beyond the ability to predict fatigue.

“This study will generate over 3,000 breath samples, which is an order of magnitude larger than any respiratory VOC study published to date,” Bean said.

“The team will use pattern recognition and statistical modeling to identify VOCs capable of detecting and discriminating the types of fatigue studied during the project,” said Dr. Ivan Ivanov, clinical professor of physiology and pharmacology at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Jafari will lead the project alongside co-investigators Mehta, Jayaraman, Riechman, Bean and Ivanov.

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