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Open AccessArticle

An E-Nose for the Monitoring of Severe Liver Impairment: A Preliminary Study

1
Institute of Information Science and Technology (ISTI), National Research Council (CNR), 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
Institute of Biophysics (IBF), National Research Council (CNR), 56127 Pisa, Italy
3
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3656; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19173656
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 22 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Sensor Arrays)
Biologically inspired to mammalian olfactory system, electronic noses became popular during the last three decades. In literature, as well as in daily practice, a wide range of applications are reported. Nevertheless, the most pioneering one has been (and still is) the assessment of the human breath composition. In this study, we used a prototype of electronic nose, called Wize Sniffer (WS) and based it on an array of semiconductor gas sensor, to detect ammonia in the breath of patients suffering from severe liver impairment. In the setting of severely impaired liver, toxic substances, such as ammonia, accumulate in the systemic circulation and in the brain. This may result in Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE), a spectrum of neuro–psychiatric abnormalities which include changes in cognitive functions, consciousness, and behaviour. HE can be detected only by specific but time-consuming and burdensome examinations, such as blood ammonia levels assessment and neuro-psychological tests. In the presented proof-of-concept study, we aimed at investigating the possibility of discriminating the severity degree of liver impairment on the basis of the detected breath ammonia, in view of the detection of HE at its early stage. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic noses; gas sensors; data processing; breath analysis; liver impairment; hepatic encephalopathy electronic noses; gas sensors; data processing; breath analysis; liver impairment; hepatic encephalopathy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Germanese, D.; Colantonio, S.; D’Acunto, M.; Romagnoli, V.; Salvati, A.; Brunetto, M. An E-Nose for the Monitoring of Severe Liver Impairment: A Preliminary Study. Sensors 2019, 19, 3656.

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