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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16625-16640; doi:10.3390/s131216625

Design and Test of a Biosensor-Based Multisensorial System: A Proof of Concept Study

1,* , 1
1 Center for Integrated Research—CIR, Unit of Electronics for Sensor Systems, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Via Alvaro del Portillo 21, Rome 00128, Italy 2 Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, Rome 00133, Italy 3 Department of Experimental Medicine, Systems Biology Group, University La Sapienza, via Scarpa 14-16, Rome 00161, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 October 2013 / Revised: 20 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Sensors are often organized in multidimensional systems or networks for particular applications. This is facilitated by the large improvements in the miniaturization process, power consumption reduction and data analysis techniques nowadays possible. Such sensors are frequently organized in multidimensional arrays oriented to the realization of artificial sensorial systems mimicking the mechanisms of human senses. Instruments that make use of these sensors are frequently employed in the fields of medicine and food science. Among them, the so-called electronic nose and tongue are becoming more and more popular. In this paper an innovative multisensorial system based on sensing materials of biological origin is illustrated. Anthocyanins are exploited here as chemical interactive materials for both quartz microbalance (QMB) transducers used as gas sensors and for electrodes used as liquid electrochemical sensors. The optical properties of anthocyanins are well established and widely used, but they have never been exploited as sensing materials for both gas and liquid sensors in non-optical applications. By using the same set of selected anthocyanins an integrated system has been realized, which includes a gas sensor array based on QMB and a sensor array for liquids made up of suitable Ion Sensitive Electrodes (ISEs). The arrays are also monitored from an optical point of view. This embedded system, is intended to mimic the working principles of the nose, tongue and eyes. We call this setup BIONOTE (for BIOsensor-based multisensorial system for mimicking NOse, Tongue and Eyes). The complete design, fabrication and calibration processes of the BIONOTE system are described herein, and a number of preliminary results are discussed. These results are relative to: (a) the characterization of the optical properties of the tested materials; (b) the performance of the whole system as gas sensor array with respect to ethanol, hexane and isopropyl alcohol detection (concentration range 0.1–7 ppm) and as a liquid sensor array (concentration range 73–98 μM).
Keywords: chemical sensors; sensor array; electronic nose; electronic tongue; anthocyanins chemical sensors; sensor array; electronic nose; electronic tongue; anthocyanins
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Santonico, M.; Pennazza, G.; Grasso, S.; D'Amico, A.; Bizzarri, M. Design and Test of a Biosensor-Based Multisensorial System: A Proof of Concept Study. Sensors 2013, 13, 16625-16640.

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