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Chemosensors 2018, 6(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemosensors6040064

Influence of Water Molecules on the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Cancer Biomarkers by Nanocomposite Quantum Resistive Vapor Sensors vQRS

1
Smart Plastics Group, Bretagne Loire University (UBL), IRDL CNRS 6027-UBS, 56622 Lorient, France
2
Centre for Polymer Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi 110016, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic nose’s, Machine Olfaction and Electronic Tongue’s)
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Abstract

The anticipated diagnosis of various fatal diseases from the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) biomarkers of the volatolome is the object of very dynamic research. Nanocomposite-based quantum resistive vapor sensors (vQRS) exhibit strong advantages in the detection of biomarkers, as they can operate at room temperature with low consumption and sub ppm (part per million) sensitivity. However, to meet this application they need to detect some ppm or less amounts of biomarkers in patients’ breath, skin, or urine in complex blends of numerous VOC, most of the time hindered by a huge amount of water molecules. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze the effects of moisture on the chemo-resistive sensing behavior of carbon nanotubes based vQRS. We show that in the presence of water molecules, the sensors cannot detect the right amount of VOC molecules present in their environment. These perturbations of the detection mechanism are found to depend on the chemical interactions between water and other VOC molecules, but also on their competitive absorption on sensors receptive sites, located at the nanojunctions of the conductive architecture. This complex phenomenon studied with down to 12.5 ppm of acetone, ethanol, butanone, toluene, and cyclohexane mixed with 100 ppm of water was worth to investigate in the prospect of future developments of devices analysing real breath samples in which water can reach a concentration of 6%. View Full-Text
Keywords: effects of humidity; biomarkers detection; quantum resistive vapor sensors; VOC; anticipated diagnosis; functionalized carbon nanotubes; conductive polymer nanocomposites effects of humidity; biomarkers detection; quantum resistive vapor sensors; VOC; anticipated diagnosis; functionalized carbon nanotubes; conductive polymer nanocomposites
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sachan, A.; Castro, M.; Choudhary, V.; Feller, J.-F. Influence of Water Molecules on the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Cancer Biomarkers by Nanocomposite Quantum Resistive Vapor Sensors vQRS. Chemosensors 2018, 6, 64.

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