Place: conference room, IMDEA Nanociencia.
Breathomics, or breath analysis, is a powerful diagnostic tool, which allows the detection of gas molecules in the exhaled breath in a non-invasive, low-cost and real-time manner. Electronic noses are promising devices for breathomics, especially for screening campaigns for those pathologies where an early diagnosis is crucial for the success of the treatment. Electronic noses should be extremely sensitive, reliable, and stable, as well as able to recognize ppb amount of target molecules; to fulfil those requirements, researchers started to look into new materials to develop gas sensor platforms, including polymers, metal oxides, and carbon-based materials. Thanks to their outstanding properties, carbon nanotubes and graphene are good candidates for gas sensing applications, although efforts, especially considering graphene, are required to improve selectivity and sensitivity through functionalization of the pristine layer.
In this seminar I will report on the development of an e-nose based at first on carbon nanotubes and then on graphene. In the case of graphene, different functionalization approaches to improve sensing capability will be presented and discussed. The developed devices have then been tested to several gases in laboratory, disclosing the sensing mechanism. Finally, a proof of concept on the feasibility of exploiting carbon-based e-noses in breathomics will be assessed, disclosing the capability of the device to discriminate between the exhaled breath of patients affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and of healthy patients.