K.D. Benkstein, A. Vergara, C.B. Montgomery, P.H. Rogers, and S. Semancik




Gas-phase chemiresistive transduction offers considerable potential for disease biomarker identification through breath analysis, but there are also significant analytical hurdles to be met to achieve a viable microsensor-based technology. This study describes an innovative interrogation/analysis strategy in functional microscale chemo-sensory platforms for detecting biologically-relevant analytes in the gas phase, utilizing biologically-inspired approaches. The strategy consists of accelerating the transduction processes of chemiresistive metal oxide chemical sensors, i.e., the artificial chemo-receptors, by means of rapid modulations of their operating temperature, thereby generating rapid transitory responses (as observed in biological systems). By implementing the suggested methodology, we were able to obtain greater insight into the transduction mechanisms for nanostructured sensing-films that enable us to determine the optimal speed, or speeds, at which biologically relevant analytes may be reliably monitored.