A selective nanosensor device for exhaled breath analysis

J Breath Res. 2011 Sep;5(3):037110. doi: 10.1088/1752-7155/5/3/037110. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


This paper describes a novel concept of a three-nanosensor array microsystem that may potentially serve as a coarse diagnostic tool handheld breath analyzer to provide a first detection device. The specification and performance of a simple metal oxide nanosensor operating between three distinct temperatures are discussed, focusing on the need for a noninvasive blood cholesterol monitor. Interfacing the sensor array to an integrated circuit for electrical readout and temperature control provides a complete microsystem capable of capturing a single exhaled breath and analyzing it with respect to the relative content of isoprene, carbon dioxide and ammonia gas. This inexpensive sensor technology may be used as a personalized medical diagnostics tool in the near future.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / analysis
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Breath Tests / instrumentation*
  • Butadienes / analysis
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Equipment Design
  • Exhalation
  • Hemiterpenes / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Pentanes / analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Butadienes
  • Hemiterpenes
  • Pentanes
  • isoprene
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Ammonia