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Hybrid sensor for diabetes detection from exhaled breath using nanoparticles loaded 1D metal oxides

Project description

A breath analyser for glucose monitoring in diabetes

Diabetes is the most prevalent chronic condition worldwide, with patients undergoing painful blood glucose tests on a daily basis. The EU-funded Sensor4Diabetes project proposes to replace this monitoring approach by developing an innovative sensor that measures specific compounds in patients' exhaled breath such as acetone, ethanol and methyl nitrate. The sensor will be functionalised with different catalytic nanoparticles to enhance the selectivity and speed of the catalytic activation of the adsorbed gas molecules. The highly effective diabetic breath analyser constitutes a non-invasive method for monitoring blood glucose levels and is expected to bring a paradigm shift in diabetes management.


Health and well-being has been one of the kHealth and well-being has been one of the key societal and grand challenges identified in EC Research and Innovation programs. Diabetes is one of the most prevailing chronic health problems across Europe and worldwide. Diabetic patients experience painful blood glucose testing in daily basis which is highly inconvenient. Replacement of blood testing with non-invasive methods would bring a paradigm shift in diabetes management. Human exhaled breath consists of several traces of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) known as “breath marker”. The presence of increased amount of acetone, ethanol and methyl nitrate has been confirmed in diabetic breath by various sophisticated techniques which are not suitable for routine clinical practice or domestic use due to their non-portability, complexity, bulk-size and high costs. Metal oxide sensors have considerable potential in detecting VOCs in exhaled breath. For VOCs analysis in breath requires high sensitivity together with high selectivity. The aim of this project is to develop hybrid sensor for analyzing VOCs in breath from 1D metal oxide nanostructures functionalized with different catalytic nanoparticles. Both impedometric and photonic properties of the sensors will be measured in presence of synthetic healthy and synthetic diabetic breath. The 1D metal oxide nanostructures on sensing platform could provide high surface-to-volume ratio for surface adsorption/desorption of gas molecules together with excellent electronic and optical properties. The addition of catalytic nanoparticles on the surface of 1D nanostructures will enhance the sensitivity and response time towards VOCs by lowering the oxidation energy, increasing the catalytic surface area and catalytic activation of gas molecules. It is expected that adoption of hybrid sensing principle will enhance the selectivity towards individual VOCs which is essential for the development of highly effective diabetic breath analyzer.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
EC1V 0HB London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — East Haringey and Islington
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76