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Guiding Ketogenic Diet with Breath Acetone Sensors

Particle Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Clinical Nutrition, University Hospital Zurich, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Pulmonology, University Hospital Zurich, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3655;
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 28 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for the Applications of Advanced Gas Sensors)
Ketogenic diet (KD; high fat, low carb) is a standard treatment for obesity, neurological diseases (e.g., refractory epilepsy) and a promising method for athletes to improve their endurance performance. Therein, the level of ketosis must be regulated tightly to ensure an effective therapy. Here, we introduce a compact and inexpensive breath sensor to monitor ketosis online and non-invasively. The sensor consists of Si-doped WO3 nanoparticles that detect breath acetone selectively with non-linear response characteristics in the relevant range of 1 to 66 ppm, as identified by mass spectrometry. When tested on eleven subjects (five women and six men) undergoing a 36-h KD based on the Johns Hopkins protocol, this sensor clearly recognizes the onset and progression of ketosis. This is in good agreement to capillary blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB) measurements. Despite similar dieting conditions, strong inter-subject differences in ketosis dynamics were observed and correctly identified by the sensor. These even included breath acetone patterns that could be linked to low tolerance to that diet. As a result, this portable breath sensor represents an easily applicable and reliable technology to monitor KD, possibly during medical treatment of epilepsy and weight loss. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical sensor; breath analysis; semiconductor; nanotechnology; flame spray pyrolysis; point-of-care; biomedical chemical sensor; breath analysis; semiconductor; nanotechnology; flame spray pyrolysis; point-of-care; biomedical
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MDPI and ACS Style

Güntner, A.T.; Kompalla, J.F.; Landis, H.; Theodore, S.J.; Geidl, B.; Sievi, N.A.; Kohler, M.; Pratsinis, S.E.; Gerber, P.A. Guiding Ketogenic Diet with Breath Acetone Sensors. Sensors 2018, 18, 3655.

AMA Style

Güntner AT, Kompalla JF, Landis H, Theodore SJ, Geidl B, Sievi NA, Kohler M, Pratsinis SE, Gerber PA. Guiding Ketogenic Diet with Breath Acetone Sensors. Sensors. 2018; 18(11):3655.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Güntner, Andreas T., Julia F. Kompalla, Henning Landis, S. J. Theodore, Bettina Geidl, Noriane A. Sievi, Malcolm Kohler, Sotiris E. Pratsinis, and Philipp A. Gerber 2018. "Guiding Ketogenic Diet with Breath Acetone Sensors" Sensors 18, no. 11: 3655.

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