Sense Holdings Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., developer of biometric and explosives detection security technologies, has filed a patent involving handheld explosives detectors based on microelectromechanical sensors, or MEMS. The company is also using MEMS to co-develop a handheld explosives detection device with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the US Department of Energy. MEMS structures are fabricated similarly to mass-produced electronic integrated circuits and can be developed as sensors to detect substances including explosives, chemicals, biological agents and narcotics. They are currently used in applications such as atomic force microscopes and automotive airbag deployment systems. Sense said it expects to have a handheld explosives detector available by mid-2006 and that it plans to release a line of handheld detectors with varying substance-sensing capabilities.