Gas sensors for non-invasive medical diagnostics
Breath analysis has the potential for early stage detection and monitoring of illnesses to drastically reduce the corresponding medical diagnostic costs and improve the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic illnesses. Some breath compounds can be assigned to specific pathologies and, thus, are utilized as breath markers. For example, acetone is an important breath marker for diabetes. A scalable flame aerosol technology is used for rapid and direct deposition of nanoparticulate sensing films onto different substrates. Flame made nanoparticles crystallinity, size and morphology can be accurately controlled by tuning the flame settings and by using different precursors. The detailed investigation of the nanoparticles properties is essential for the synthesis of sophisticated nanostructures that have a direct influence on the sensing performance. The final step is to apply the resulting sensors to real breath analysis and investigate possible correlations related to different metabolic state or diseases.
Recent, relevant references:
- L. Mädler, A. Roessler, S.E. Pratsinis, T. Sahm, A. Gurlo, N. Barsan, U. Weimar, "Direct formation of highly porous gas-sensing films by in-situ thermophoretic deposition of flame-made Pt/SnO2 nanoparticles", Sens. Actuators, B: Chem., 114, 283–295 (2006)
- M. Righettoni, A. Tricoli, S.E. Pratsinis, "Si:WO3 Sensors for Highly Selective Detection of Acetone for Easy Diagnosis of Diabetes by Breath Analysis", Anal. Chem., 82, 3581-3587 (2010)
- M. Righettoni, A. Tricoli, S. Gass, A. Schmid, A. Amann, S.E. Pratsinis, "Breath acetone monitoring by portable Si:WO3 gas sensors", Anal. Chim. Acta 738, 69-75 (2012).
- M. Righettoni, A. Schmid, A. Amann, S.E. Pratsinis, "Correlations between blood glucose and breath components from portable gas sensors and PTR-TOF-MS", J. Breath Res., 7, 037110 (2013)