Protsko Tetiana Vladimirovna
National Technical University of Ukraine "Kiev Polytechnic Institute", Ukraine
5th course student of FBMI

Ability for rapid and accurate diagnostic can not only save one’s life, but also it is indispensable method for emergency, based on it we can talk about actuality of methods of rapid diagnostic in medicine and technics. This work was done as part of work on developing methods for rapid diagnosis based on selective gas analyzers in the department of BMI, ICME.
The review aims to study the feasibility of using systems such as "electronic nose" in the functional diagnosis of the composition of exhaled air. Objective - to explore modern methods of diagnosis of exhaled air and to prove the feasibility of using multisensor selective gas analyzers for rapid diagnosis in medicine. Object is a human health subject - modern diagnostic methods on the composition of exhaled air.
Methods used - theoretical rationalization for selective gas analyzers, analysis of the prospects of e-nose.

Keywords: e-nose, gas analysis, rapid medical diagnostics

Category: 05.00.00 Technical sciences

Article reference:
Rapid medical diagnostics based on selective gas analyzers (e-nose system) // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2014. № 5. P. 1 [Electronic journal]. URL: https://web.snauka.ru/en/issues/2014/05/34778

View this article in Russian

At this stage of development of medicine and technology rapid diagnosis of diseases and pathologies is definitely one of the priorities for research and development of medical equipment. That is why the use of modern technology and electronics for the expansion of various tasks relating to the quality of odors is particularly important.

There are lot of modern methods of rapid medical diagnostics and among them electronic nose is one of the most suitable and accurate. Electronic noses have a clear potential to be a non-invasive, simple and rapid but above all accurate early diagnostic screening tool.

An electronic nose(e-nose) is first defined as a device which comprises of an array of chemical sensors with different selectivity, a signal-preprocessing unit and a pattern recognition system [1]. The functional scheme of the device is shown at the figure 1.

Figure 1. The functional scheme of e-nose

In the general case, e-nose device (Fig.1) is a set of selective sensors (D1. .. Dn), which through amplifiers (A1. .. AN), program-controlled analog multiplexer and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) connected to a computer manual for the formation of a database of measurements and accompanying information.

In a typical unit test air is sucked through the pump inlet compartment with built-in line of sensors. In the next step the sensors exhibited volatile substances pairs that make up the smell , and the odorous substances interacting on the surface and / or penetrating the volume of the active element of the sensor , forming the overall system response . During the measurement interval response touchpad analyzed and transmitted to the processor module. Then, the system serves pair flushing gas (eg, alcohol) in order to remove odorous substances from the surface and from the bulk of the active material of the sensor. Finally, in a grid of sensors is served carrier gas in order to prepare the unit for the new measuring cycle.

E-nose technical parameters directly depend on the parameters of selective sensors, so the choice of the type, number and sensitivity of sensor parameters is an important step in the design of such devices [2].

In the device, made by our department, we used amperometric sensors. Amperometric biosensors are devices that allow you to identify toxic substances at a lower level than in the case of potentiometric sensors. The principle of the amperometric biosensors is quite simple. Specified component diffuses through a semipermeable membrane into a thin layer of biological material in which the reaction to form products that are responsive electrode. Functional biosensors can be compared with sensors organisms – biosensors capable of converting the signals coming from the environment into brain electrical signals [3]. Technical characteristics of amperometric sensors used is shown in table 1.

Table 1. Technical characteristics of amperometric sensors


Sensor type

Min. and max. ranges of measurement, ppm

Response time

t0,9, c

Expansion, ppm

Sensitivity, mA/ppm


NH3, Sensor E-2

0-20, 0-5000





Cl2, Sensor E-2

0-5, 0-2500




Hydrogen sulfide

H2S, Sensor E-3

0-10, 0-1000




Sulfur dioxide

SO2, Sensor E-3

0-100, 0-1000




Nitric oxide

NO, Sensor E-3

0-20, 0-2500




Hydrogen fluoride

HF, Sensor E-2

0-10, 0-200




Electronic nose proved itself in several times heart failure diagnostics. Results showed that there are different exhaled air portraits in people with or without heart failure problems [4]. Sensing element was nitric oxide sensor.

Machado et al. used an electronic nose to identify and discriminate between 14 bronchogenic carcinoma patients and 45 healthy controls. The result demonstrated effective discrimination between samples from patients with lung cancer and those from healthy controls. In validation study, the electronic nose had 71.4% sensitivity and 91.9% specificity for detecting lung cancer, positive and negative predictive values were 66.6% and 93.4%, respectively [5].

Electronic noses can be applied to identify respiratory bacterial pathogens either in vitro or in vivo or as a potential tool for the identification of patients with COPD, asthma, and Tuberculosis. M. Bruins et al. in his study showed that the electronic nose can differentiate between tuberculosis patients and healthy controls with a sensitivity of 76.5% and specificity of 87.2% when identifying tuberculosis patients within the entire test population. The research has demonstrated a possibility of an electronic nose as a portable and fast-time-to-result device to screen search for tuberculosis cases in rural areas, which lacked highly-skilled operators or a hospital center infrastructure [6].

As for urinary tract diagnostics, approximately 80% of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by Escherichia coli, 20% by enteric pathogens such as Enterococci, Klebsiellae, Proteus spp., coagulase (–) Staphylococci and fungal opportunistic pathogens such as Candida albicans (S. Krcmery, M. Dubrava, 1999). Electronic noses can diagnose UTIs by examining the volatile compounds produced by bacterial contaminants in urine samples. Based on this fact, Pavlou et al. employed an electronic nose consisting of 14 conducting polymer sensors to distinguish between normal urine, Escherichia coli infected, Proteus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. The study has shown the potential for early detection of microbial contaminants related to UTI using an electronic nose [7].

To summarize, electronic nose can be used in each medical field, where infection is associated with the occurrence of odors.  That’s why nowadays e-nose is one of the most flexible diagnostic methods. It can be used for respiratory infection, heart diseases, cancer and urinary tract infection detection and has a potential to make up a vital part in monitoring disease epidemiology.

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  2. MDPI [Online service]: open access publishing / Chih-Heng PanHung-Yi Hsieh and Kea-Tiong Tang An Analog Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network for a Portable Electronic Nose// Sensors. – 2013. – 13(1). – p. 193-207.
  3. Чвирук В.П., Линючева О.В., Кушмирук А.И. Электрохимические сенсоры нового поколения системы НТУУ «КПИ» для экологического мониторинга вооздушной среды // Збірник тез доп. п’ятої наук.-техн. Конф. «Приладобудування 2006», 25-26 квітня 2006 р. – Київ. – c. 24-25
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  5. R. F. Machado, D. Laskowski, O. Deffenderfer, et al., “Detection of Lung Cancer by Sensor Array Analyses of Exhaled Breath,” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 171, No. 11, 2005, pp. 1286-1291.
  6. M. Bruins, Z. Rahimc, A. Bos, W. W. van de Sande, H. P. Endtz and A. van Belkum, “Diagnosis of Active Tuberculosis by E-Nose Analysis of Exhaled Air,” Tuberculosis, Vol. 93, No. 2, 2012, pp. 1-7.
  7. A. K. Pavlou, N. Magan, C. McNulty, J. M. Jones, D. Sharp, J. Brown and A. P. F. Turner, “Use of an Electronic Nose System for Diagnoses of Urinary Tract Infections,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Vol. 17, No. 10, 2002, pp. 893-899

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