Only days ago we wrote about new breath sensing technology being developed at University of Pittsburgh and National Energy Technology Laboratory that uses titanium dioxide and single-walled carbon nanotubes to accurately measure acetone, a marker for blood glucose levels. The development has the potential to change the way diabetics keep an eye on their sugar levels.
Now we get word that a team from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has been working on its own breath sensor that has similar capabilities but works quite differently. It relies on tin dioxide (SnO2) nanofibers that are wound from wrinkled thin SnO2 nanotubes using electrospinning.
From the study abstract in Advanced Functional Materials:
The inner and outer SnO2 tubes have a number of elongated open pores ranging from 10 nm to 500 nm in length along the fiber direction, enabling fast transport of gas molecules to the entire thin-walled sensing layers. These features admit exhaled gases such as acetone and toluene, which are markers used for the diagnosis of diabetes and lung cancer. The open tubular structures facilitated the uniform coating of catalytic Pt nanoparticles onto the inner SnO2 layers. Highly porous SnO2 fibers synthesized at a high flow rate show five-fold higher acetone responses than densely packed SnO2 fibers synthesized at a low flow rate. Interestingly, thin-wall assembled SnO2 fibers functionalized by Pt particles exhibit a dramatically shortened gas response time compared to that of un-doped SnO2 fibers, even at low acetone concentrations. Moreover, Pt-decorated SnO2 fibers significantly enhance toluene response. These results demonstrate the novel and practical feasibility of thin-wall assembled metal oxide based breath sensors for the accurate diagnosis of diabetes and potential detection of lung cancer.
Flashback: Titanium Dioxide Coupled with Carbon Nanotubes for Next Generation Glucose Testing
Study abstract in Advanced Functional Materials: Thin-Wall Assembled SnO2 Fibers Functionalized by Catalytic Pt Nanoparticles and their Superior Exhaled-Breath-Sensing Properties for the Diagnosis of Diabetes…
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST): Nanofiber sensor detects diabetes or lung cancer faster and easier…