Development of Fabric-Based Chemical Gas Sensors for Use as Wearable Electronic Noses

Abstract

Novel gas sensors embroidered into fabric substrates based on polymers/ SWNT-COOH nanocomposites were proposed in this paper, aiming for their use as a wearable electronic nose (e-nose). The fabric-based chemical gas sensors were fabricated by two main processes: drop coating and embroidery. Four potential polymers (PVC, cumene-PSMA, PSE and PVP)/functionalized-SWCNT sensing materials were deposited onto interdigitated electrodes previously prepared by embroidering conductive thread on a fabric substrate to make an optimal set of sensors. After preliminary trials of the obtained sensors, it was found that the sensors yielded a electrical resistance in the region of a few kilo-Ohms. The sensors were tested with various volatile compounds such as ammonium hydroxide, ethanol, pyridine, triethylamine, methanol and acetone, which are commonly found in the wastes released from the human body. These sensors were used to detect and discriminate between the body odors of different regions and exist in various forms such as the urine, armpit and exhaled breath odor. Based on a simple pattern recognition technique, we have shown that the proposed fabric-based chemical gas sensors can discriminate the human body odor from two persons.

DOI: 10.3390/s150101885

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