Electronic-nose devices - Potential for noninvasive early disease-detection applications
Significant progress in the development of portable electronic devices is showing considerable promise to facilitate clinical diagnostic processes. The increasing global trend of shifts in healthcare policies and priorities toward shortening and improving the effectiveness of diagnostic procedures by utilizing non-invasive methods should provide multiple benefits of increasing treatment efficiency and lowering healthcare costs while accelerating the speed and accuracy of diagnoses. The results of this improved approach will lead to earlier treatments that ultimately result in more favorable prognoses, more rapid patient recovery, and shorter hospital stays. Electronic-nose (e-nose) and similar devices have been at the forefront of recent clinical research focused on the development of new potential diagnostic tools to aid in disease detection and etiology for point-of-care testing (POCT). E-noses are artificial gas-sensing systems, usually containing chemical cross-reactive multi-sensor arrays capable of characterizing the aroma patterns of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which utilize pattern-recognition algorithms for aroma classification . The most useful e-nose devices are lightweight, portable handheld tools that provide real-time data. These low-cost instruments have the potential to revolutionize many diagnostic, clinical procedures used to detect a multitude of human diseases with diverse etiologies. Numerous types of e-nose devices have been developed, based on different operational mechanisms, offering varying capabilities, sensitivities, response times, and advantages for different clinical applications . Currently available e-nose technologies most commonly used for clinical practice include carbon nanofiber (CNF), conducting
polymer (CP), metal oxide semiconductor (MOS), polymer carbon black composite (PCBC), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices.