At the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology researchers are building breath sensors able to perform point-of-care diagnostics. The semiconductor metal oxide-based nanofiber sensor arrays measure concentrations of specific volatile organic compounds, such as acetone, ammonia, and toluene, that can be indicative of diabetes, kidney disease, and lung cancer.
From the study abstract:
A novel catalyst functionalization method is proposed by I.-D. Kim and co-workers using the self-assembly of protein-encapsulated catalytic nanoparticles on polystyrene colloid templates. On page 911, these templates are employed in electrospinning to achieve well-dispersed catalyst functionalization as well as to form open pores on WO3nanofibers (NFs) after subsequent heat-treatment. The improved analyte-sensing performance is investigated with catalyst-loaded porous WO3 NFs, demonstrating their potential for application in exhaled breath analysis to diagnose diseases.