The growing interest in medicine in connecting different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) patterns in breath with diseases and disorders has increased the demand on breath tests devices. Nowadays, the required apparatus for breath analysis in the market a re bulky and difficult to operate and handle, they need a large amount of sample and several hours are needed to obtain a result. In addition, they are expensive (ranging from 600 to 25.000euro).
Therefore, the project focus on developing a breath test dev ice which is fast, portable, extremely sensitive, with low cost and easy to miniaturize. The main challenge of the BIOFET project is the use of a tailor made biofunctional nanomaterial for gas-sensing purposes in a silicon micromachined array based on field effect transistors (FET). The biofunctional material consists in a coiled-coil peptide-based assembly of gold nanoparticles and it is possible to synthesize it using different types of peptides having the possibility of designing a more selective device.
The transducer device, a silicon FET microarray, can provide a lot of key benefits for sensing target gases such as low fabrication costs and mass production (standard CMOS process), low power consumption, compact size, small weights, fast response (milliseconds) and the ability to readily integrate with signal conditioning electronics and other devices.
The core of the multidisciplinary research project BIOFET converges on biological recognition mechanisms, nanosciences, materials research and techniques of analysis at a common research frontier. This innovative multidisciplinary technologically relevant research is crucial in forging strong links between industry and research as outlined in the Lisbon strategy and indeed throughout FP6.
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