People - [ Faculty ]

[ Main Faculty Listing Page ]

Todd Mlsna

Todd Mlsna

Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry

B.S. Albion College, 1985
Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin 1991
email: Dr. Mlsna
telephone: (662) 325-6744
Lab website:

Research Interests:

Dr. Mlsna and Students

My current research interests focus on the development of chemical sensors. The research and development of miniature chemical sensors is a rich field of study encompassing both basic and applied research with a broad range of applications. From environmental monitoring, to health diagnostics, to protecting soldiers on the battlefield, chemical sensor development has been an intense interest of many disparate government agencies and national labs. My basic research focuses on 1) sorbent materials, 2) chemical transduction, and 3) miniaturization and system integration. My applied research interests focuses on developing chemical sensors for specific applications including 1) the detection of illicit drugs and drug labs, 2) the monitoring of chemicals emitted from the forest products industry, 3) the detection of toxic mold, 4) the detection of biomarkers to aid in health diagnostics and 5) explosive, toxic and chemical warfare agent detection. By its nature, chemical detection is a highly interdisciplinary field of research that must involve expertise in chemistry, materials and many engineering and computer disciplines.

Another major focus is the conversion of biomass into energy and chemicals. This is a very important and timely field of study for a number of very good reasons: 1) It is an environmentally friendly, carbon neutral process with the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered equal to the amount released; 2) World reserves of petroleum are finite and costs of petroleum products are on the rise, 3) This renewable source of energy can affect our national energy security. My interests in this field will focus on several different aspects: 1) Monitoring chemicals for both process control and product identification; 2) Catalysis design, research, development and testing for efficient conversion of synthesis gas to chemicals of interest; 3) Efficient design and use of reactor beds. 4) Determining how biomass feedstock composition affects efficiency of conversion to energy and chemicals.

Recent Publications and Patents

  1. Shamitha Dissanayake, Patty Lathan, Todd Mlsna, Novel extraction of volatile biomarkers from canine breath for gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, Journal of Breath Research, Volume 6, Number 4, 2012.
  2. A portable Gas Chromatograph for the Monitoring of Biomass Gasification, Bidhya Kunwar, Hevagamage Wijaylapala, Janet Thieme, Sanjay Patel and Todd Mlsna, accepted for publication in the Journal of Sensors and Instrumentation, 2012.
  3. Liquid-Vapor Equilibrium of a Binary Solution and Gas Chromatography: An Experiment for General Chemistry Laboratory, Bidhya Kunwar, Deb Mlsna, Shawna Tazik and Todd Mlsna, accepted for publication in Chemical Educator, 2012.
  4. Sameera R Gunatilake, Shelby Steelhammer, Jeong Wook-Kwon, Jose Rodriguez, Kang Xia, Kevin Armbrust, Todd E Mlsna, Analysis of Estrogens in Wastewater using solid phase extraction, the QuECHERS cleanup, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, submitted to AOAC international, 2012.
  5. T.E. Mlsna, S.V. Patel, and J. Fraden, "Chemical Sensors," Chapter 17 in Handbook of Modern Sensors, 4th edition, by Jacob Fraden, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC., New York, 2010. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-6466-3 ISBN: 978-1-4419-6465-6.
  6. Sanjay V. Patel, Stephen T. Hobson, Sabina Cemalovic, Todd E. Mlsna, 'Materials for capacitive carbon dioxide microsensors capable of operating at ambient temperatures', J Sol-Gel Sci Technol (2010) 53:673–679.
  7. Erno Klassen, S.V. Patel, T.E. Mlsna Title: 'Interdigitated Chemical Sensors, and Methods of Making and Using the Same' United State Patent No: US 7,837,844 B2, Nov. 23, 2010.
  8. Todd Mlsna, Rubin Shmulsky and Sita Warren, "Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds during Kiln Drying with MEMS Chemical Sensors Based Mini-GC", American Laboratory April, 2008 pages 19-22.
  9. Sanjay V. Patel, Stephen T. Hobson, Sabina Cemalovic, Todd E. Mlsna, Detection of methyl salicylate using polymer-filled chemicapacitors, Talanta, Volume 76, Issue 4, 15 August 2008, Pages 872-877.
  10. Todd Mlsna, Sanjay Patel, Rubin Shmulsky, Joseph Dahlen and Sita Millar (Warren), "Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds during Kiln Drying with MEMS Chemical Sensors Based Mini-GC", Quality Drying for the 21st Century: Energy and Market Realities, pp. 191-198 (2008).
  11. "Methods for Making Fixed Parallel Plate MEMS Capacitor Microsensors and Microsensor Arrays" S. V. Patel, B. Fruhberger, E. Klaassen, T. E. Mlsna, D. Baselt, (divisional filed 2007) Patent Pending.
  12. D.R. Baselt, B. Fruhberger, E. Klaassen, S. Cemalovic, C.L. Britton Jr., S.V. Patel, T.E. Mlsna, D. McCorkle, B. Warmack, Design and performance of a microcantilever-based hydrogen sensor, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Volume 88, Issue 2, 15 January 2003, Pages 120-131.