Funding Programme or Company Name:
Irish Research Council (IRC)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)and inorganic molecules are emitted from body in a range of ways e.g. via breath, skin. Many emitted compounds are end-stage metabolites and so can potentially be used as biomarkers of different disease states or metabolic changes in the body, e.g. change in diet, or use of prescription drugs . Current research generally uses high end techniques such as Mass Spectrometry for the analysis of complete gas profiles . Given the literature findings, there is significant opportunity for the use of sensors to continuously monitor specific gases known to correlate directly with disease or nutrition state. For example, acetone is emitted from skin in states of acid ketosis and may represent a new way to track glucose levels without having to sample and test blood . MOX Wear proposes to develop class of metal-oxide gas sensors for wearable platforms for targeting such analytes. It is intended that these sensors will be miniaturized, operate at minimal temperatures and be integrated with (or worn on) the human body. SnO2, ZnO and WO3 will be employed for the studies, owing to Dr. Datta’s excellent expertise in their synthesis and application. A broad range of target analytes for this programme are selected on the basis of their relevance in skin and their potential for noninvasive disease diagnosis and monitoring. The target analytes are for this programme are acetone (related to fat metabolism [3,4])); ammonia, whose presence in skin is related to hepatic encephalopathy [5,6]; nitrogen oxide whose levels are related to pulmonary inflammation  and methane whose levels are related to gut metabolism .The host MOXmatrices will be modified with suitable additives in order to realize specificity and required sensitivity. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first demonstration for MOX-based sensors for tracking skin volatiles.
Associated Theme for Application Domain:
Connected Health-Novel Personal Sensing
Dublin City University (DCU)