[Righettoni2012] "Breath acetone monitoring by portable Si:WO3 gas sensors.",
Anal Chim Acta
, vol. 738: Particle Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland., pp. 69–75, Aug, 2012.
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. In particular, the detection of acetone in the human breath is promising for non-invasive diagnosis and painless monitoring of diabetes (no finger pricking). Here, a portable acetone sensor consisting of flame-deposited and in situ annealed, Si-doped epsilon-WO(3) nanostructured films was developed. The chamber volume was miniaturized while reaction-limited and transport-limited gas flow rates were identified and sensing temperatures were optimized resulting in a low detection limit of acetone (?20ppb) with short response (10-15s) and recovery times (35-70s). Furthermore, the sensor signal (response) was robust against variations of the exhaled breath flow rate facilitating application of these sensors at realistic relative humidities (80-90%) as in the human breath. The acetone content in the breath of test persons was monitored continuously and compared to that of state-of-the-art proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Such portable devices can accurately track breath acetone concentration to become an alternative to more elaborate breath analysis techniques.